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Proud coach speaks of "wonderful" moment
THE PROUD coach of Halesowen gymnastics hero Kristian Thomas has spoken of the “wonderful” moment when he helped make history.
Michelle Bradley was in the North Greenwich Arena last night when 23-year-old Thomas, who she has trained for almost two decades at the Earls Gymnastics Club, helped guide Britain to an historic bronze in the men’s team event.
He put in superb performances on the vault and high bars and then held his nerve in the final floor to seal the medal - Britain’s first in the team event for 100 years.
A delighted Bradley said: “For me Kristian was the anchor. He was the one cast with the job of bringing it home.
“He is so cool and collected though in all honesty I did fear for him when it came to the floor.
“It only takes one mistake on each and everyone of those tumbles for everything to be lost.
“I was sitting a couple of seats away from Kristian’s parents and we were all looking at each other.
“I was really nervous. On the last tumble, I think I did all the moves with him.
“When the score came through we all erupted. It was a wonderful moment.”
The team’s success has catapulted them into the public conscious and Bradley - who made her own piece of history by becoming the first female to coach a male gymnast to the Olympics - has been getting plenty of attention too.
Numerous radio, television and newspaper interviews have followed last night’s drama. Bradley says Thomas’ success is testament to the hard work of everyone involved at the Earls club.
Bradley added: “Gymnastics is one of those sports where so much can go wrong, it’s fantastic to see it all come together.
“I have known Kristian for 18 years and a lot of work has gone into this.
“These lads don’t just turn up once a week, we spend 24 to 30 hours a week with them. We know them almost as well as their parents do.
“It’s great for Kristian and it’s great for the club. Everyone there had their part to play in it.”