NILE WILSON grinned his way a second Commonwealth Games gold medal after eclipsing England team-mate James Hall in a dramatic finish to the men’s all-around competition in Coomera.
Just one fortieth of a point split Leeds gymnast Wilson, Hall and Cypriot Marios Georgiou going into the final high bar apparatus, and the Olympic bronze medallist kept his nerve to score 15.1 and take the title.
Wilson said: “It’s incredible for it to come down to the wire with the three of us all in the mix.
“I smiled my way through it and hit the bar routine I knew I could. It’s a great feeling to have another Commonwealth Games gold medal round my neck.”
Wilson’s triumph was all the more impressive given a lingering hand injury which severely restricts his pommel routine, the Leeds man’s score of 12.6 giving European bronze medallist Hall the early advantage.
But Wilson’s best two apparatus were left to come and he made up the shortfall by out-scoring Hall on the parallel bars to set up what was effectively a straight title shoot-out on the most unpredictable element of all.
Georgiou went first with a clean routine scoring 13.9 before Hall’s response of 14.1 guaranteed an English gold medal. With all eyes on Wilson, the Leeds 22-year-old delivered to ultimately emerge as the clear winner.
Wilson has three more opportunities to add to his gold medal tally in the individual apparatus finals, and will renew his rivalry with Hall in the individual high bar competition.
Hall, who also considers the high bar his strongest piece, said: “I can clean that routine up and I’ve got another two releases I can add in.
“Today because it came down to the wire I had to be a bit more careful. These judgement calls are needed quite often. I took out one of my releases and it paid off.”
I smiled my way through it and hit the bar routine I knew I could. It’s a great feeling to have another Commonwealth Games gold medal round my neck.Pudsey gymnast, Nile Wilson
Alice Kinsella and Kelly Simm were set to compete in the women’s all-around competition later on Saturday, in which Canada’s world medallist Ellie Black will start favourite.