THE heartbreak of missing out on a team medal is all the motivation Nile Wilson needs for an individual Olympic title tilt when the finals begin later this week.
Wilson was part of a five-strong Team GB squad that finished agonisingly out of the medals in fourth in Monday night’s team event in the Rio Olympic Arena.
Trailing China for the bronze medal by over two points heading into their sixth and final apparatus – the pommel horse which is traditionally their strongest – Team GB needed a miracle. But when Louis Smith fell off attempting a routine of very high difficulty to close the gap – any chance they had of repeating their bronze from London 2012 was lost.
Wilson was part of the British squad that claimed world silver in Glasgow last year but since then Japan, Russia and China appear to have stolen a march on them.
But the Leeds gymnast is confident that the best is yet to come – both from his own and the team’s perspective.
“It was an incredible final with some incredible gymnastics going on,” he said. “Sport is sport and it was not our day.
“I thought we showed incredible spirit and heart, we went out there and gave it our all and I think we can be proud of that.
“I am looking forward now to moving forward, going from strength to strength for the individual finals.
“The Japanese at the minute are at the next level and we are always striving for that.
“Certainly since last year’s World Championships we have increased our difficulty, that was our goal – to keep the same execution.
“That last piece on the pommel we had to go full out for difficulty – it didn’t come off but it’s really positive.One day we can do what Japan and China are doing. We are definitely in the mix.”
Today sees Wilson go in the individual all-around final while he also has the high bar apparatus final next Tuesday.
And after a stellar high bar in the team event on Monday – Wilson scored an impressive 15.666 with his routine – confidence is high for the 20-year-old.
“No one succeeds their way to success – failure is part of the whole journey,” he added. “I am really happy and proud to be here representing my country on the biggest stage of all and doing my job. I really enjoyed the experience of my first Olympic final.
“I put out some great routines today – particularly the high bar, and I definitely feel I can medal in the high bar.”
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