European Artistic Gymnastics Championships: Sam Oldham reaches high bar final, GB qualify top of team competition

By Sam Drury

Last Updated: 23/05/2014, 12:41 GMT

Great Britain's Sam Oldham
Sam Oldham: Reached the high bar final in fine style

Sam Oldham is through to the European Gymnastics high bar final in Sofia after putting together a fantastic routine in qualifying on Thursday.

The Sky Academy Sports Scholar is also part of the Great Britain team that qualified for Sunday’s team final by topping the standings.

Having claimed high bar silver at the 2013 championships, Oldham is aiming to go one better this time around and he moved another step closer to that goal as he progressed to Sunday’s final in fourth place.

The 21-year-old Huntingdon gymnast retained the British high bar title earlier in the year with a stunning routine in Liverpool and was equally impressive, earning a score of 15 in qualifying in Bulgaria.


However, an unfortunate error on his second vault meant despite a solid score of 14.583 with his first attempt that Oldham missed out on a place in the final. He also narrowly missed the cut to make the parallel bars final despite an excellent score of 14.966.

Another good showing, though, this time on the rings, earned Oldham a 14.566 from the judges as the GB team scored consistently well on all of the apparatus.

Max Whitlock qualified top on the pommel horse and floor, just ahead of team-mate Dan Purvis in the latter whilst Kristian Thomas will join Oldham in the high bar final.

The team recorded an overall total of 267.076 to put them ahead of Russia (264.304) and Ukraine (261.277) in second and third respectively and they will be aiming to perform just as well in Sunday’s final as they look to retain their European crown.