KRISTIAN Thomas should feel no disappointment at missing out on a second Olympic medal, according to his coach.
The Earls gymnastics hero, who helped anchor the British men to team bronze on Monday, saw his hopes in yesterday’s individual final disappear after a mistake on the vault.
But Michelle Bradley, who has coached Thomas for almost two decades, says he should feel nothing but pride in his performance and final placing of seventh - the best placing by a British men in the
individual competition for more than a century.
Bradley said: “If Kristian would have picked up a medal last night it would have been the shock of the Games.
“I’m not disappointed and he shouldn’t be either.
“He has already far surpassed anything we thought a Britith gymnast could do.
“In three tough days of competition, including the qualifying and the team final, he has made just one mistake.”
Thomas had been well in contention at the midway point put paid a big price for his error on the vault - a piece of apparatus where he excelled in Monday’s team event scoring 16.550 - the highest
mark of the competition.
Attempting a difficult vault, Thomas stumbled back upon landing and his score of 14.903 dropped him back down the field, with too much ground to make up on the top three.
Bradley says she knew almost instantly things hadn’t quite gone to plan.
She said: “I was nervous before the vault and I thought when he went off on the top he hadn’t quite made the break.
“Kristian is very aware and when I spoke to him afterwards, he confirmed he hadn’t made it.
“He tried to tuck in more and it caused him to over-rotate, which lead to the error.
“Basically it was trying to correct the first mistake which caused problems with the landing.
“That’s what makes the vault so tough. It’s split-second stuff and you don’t get the time to make up for errors like you do in other routines.”
Thomas will bid for more glory in Monday’s individual vault final.