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Great Britain place fourth in men's team final at World Championships

Great Britain place fourth in men's team final at World Championships
© Reuters
Great Britain's men team miss out on a medal at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships as they finish in fourth place in Antwerp.

Great Britain were unable to replicate their bronze-medal winning success of 2022 as they finished fourth in the men's team final at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp.

The troupe comprising Harry Hepworth, James Hall, Jake Jarman, Courtney Tulloch and the returning Max Whitlock achieved a total of 249.461 to finish outside the podium spots, as Japan stormed to the title with 255.594 on the board.

Last year's champions China settled for the runners-up medal this time around, finishing 1.8 marks below their Asian counterparts with 253.794, while the USA pipped GB to the bronze by almost three marks, finishing with 252.428.

Thanks in no small part to Jarman's signature vault - a hugely difficult 3.5 twisting routine - GB topped the charts on that piece of apparatus, as Hepworth and Tulloch also came up with big scores.

Making his long-awaited return to the world stage, two-time Olympic pommel horse champion Whitlock rolled back the years with a massive 15.266 on the apparatus, although a fall for Hall brought GB's score down early doors.

Hall would also make a costly error on the high bar, while Jarman's exhilarating floor difficulty was also not enough to propel the Brits onto the podium, as Hepworth took a 0.500 penalty.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the competition, Whitlock admitted his disappointment but was also able to take several positives ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics, which the GB men's team qualified for at last year's World Championships.

"Of course it's difficult in many ways, but there are so many positives we can look at. I think everyone did a great job," the 30-year-old said.

"There are definitely things we can work on for next time and there are learning curves [for] Paris [Olympics in 2024]. But I think overall we need to be positive. We did well and the guys have come together and we did our jobs."

Meanwhile, Hall admitted that GB were unable to chase perfection with unfamiliar routines, adding: "This [championship] maybe wasn't what we wanted it to be today. But we had new routines, people going for perfect landings and perfect executions and sometimes you can't quite pull it off."

Following the men's team competition, Jessica Gadirova, Ondine Achampong, Ruby Evans, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella will bid for glory in Wednesday's women's team final, which they qualified for in second place behind the United States.

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