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Gymnastics: Purvis battles back after fall from grace

Scot Dan Purvis recovered his poise after an early fall to produce an heroic display and lead Great Britain to first place in qualification for tomorrow's team final of the European Championships in Montpellier, France, writes Roddy Mackenzie.

In the first exercise of the day, Purvis landed his vault but then fell off the podium on to a judge and looked shaken by the experience but he came back strongly in the remaining five events to lead the all-around competition, his total score of 86.764 points helping the British team to a total of 265.718 points. Russia were second with 264.474 and Germany third (260.801).

It was revealed after Purvis completed his routines that he had been suffering from an illness bug and had only managed three hours' sleep.

Louis Smith, GB's Olympic bronze medallist, paid tribute to his team-mate and said: "Dan was the hero for us. He looked like a ghost this morning but he just smashed out his routines; he's an unbelievable guy."

Purvis, who has won two bronze medals at previous European Championships, admitted he feared he would not be able to take part. "I had a really bad night and was quite ill and didn't know if I'd be able to compete," he stated. "On vault, I ended up on the floor. I didn't know what happened but it woke me up a bit."

Scot Dan Purvis recovered his poise after an early fall to produce an heroic display and lead Great Britain to first place in qualification for tomorrow's team final of the European Championships in Montpellier, France.

In the first exercise of the day, Purvis landed his vault but then fell off the podium on to a judge and looked shaken by the experience but he came back strongly in the remaining five events to lead the all-around competition, his total score of 86.764 points helping the British team to a total of 265.718 points. Russia were second with 264.474 and Germany third (260.801).

It was revealed after Purvis completed his routines that he had been suffering from an illness bug and had only managed three hours' sleep.

Louis Smith, GB's Olympic bronze medallist, paid tribute to his team-mate and said: "Dan was the hero for us. He looked like a ghost this morning but he just smashed out his routines; he's an unbelievable guy."

Purvis, who has won two bronze medals at previous European Championships, admitted he feared he would not be able to take part. "I had a really bad night and was quite ill and didn't know if I'd be able to compete," he stated. "On vault, I ended up on the floor. I didn't know what happened but it woke me up a bit."

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