Louis Smith today hit back at claims he had refused to congratulate teammate Max Whitlock and denied he called his historic gymnastics victory ‘bulls**t’.
The Strictly Come Dancing star was accused of sulking when Max Whitlock won gold and knocked him down to silver in the Pommel Horse final yesterday.
Whitlock was even forced to comfort heartbroken Louis, who was on his knees at the time, as his gold was confirmed.
But hitting back at critics who claimed he refused to congratulate his compatriot he said: ‘Because it wasn’t shown on camera doesn’t mean I didn’t show my respect. Ask Max yourself then apologise’.
Others posted footage online claiming the gymnast allegedly said: ‘That’s bull**** man’ as he lost – but in a series of defensive tweets he claimed that he had said ‘should be proud man’. He also suggested it was at a different part of the event.
Smith also said his tears and lack of smiles on the podium were because he was thinking about all his mother had done for him, adding: ‘My tears weren’t that of sadness I’m not a wimp. It was of pride and relief’.
Support: Max Whitlock comforts Louis Smith after he beat him to gold in the Pommel Horse final yesterday
Louis Smith has sparked a social media storm after becoming visibly upset at coming second in the men’s pommel horse final
Smith cried on the podium and appeared to refuse to shake Whitlock’s hand before the ceremony
Whitlock, centre, won two golds today and looked happy alongside US bronze medallist Alexander Naddour, right, but Smith, left, struggled to smile
Some on social media said it was ‘shameful’ that Smith couldn’t ‘show respect for his team mate’
It led to the 27-year-old being targeted for criticism on Twitter for ‘not congratulating’ his team mate but shaking the American’s hand
Some suggested he spent more time commiserating with third-placed American Alexander Naddour as his British teammate made history.
It sparked a furious social media backlash from fans who accused him of not being ‘gracious’ in defeat and congratulating Whitlock.
He eventually did hug his teammate following the medal ceremony.
Smith, who has won two silvers and a bronze across three different Olympics, said it was a bittersweet moment.
He told the BBC: ‘There many different emotions. I would have liked to get a gold.
‘I received so many negative comments, about team selection saying I shouldn’t even be in the team and then to have messed up in the team final and then to have had a week until now, I was dealing with a lot emotionally, mentally. It just means so much.
‘The amount of pride I’m feeling right now – I’ve been speaking to my mum quite a lot, she’s at home, she didn’t come out. She’s been worried sick and just to go through that … it means so much.’
Describing his longevity, former Strictly Come Dancing champion Smith – made an MBE for his contribution to the sport – said: ‘I’ve been in the sport for two decades now, I’m 27, I don’t know if this is my last Olympics. To have done that routine the way I was feeling, I am very happy.
He added he was ‘dealing with a lot emotionally and mentally’ after a mistake in the team final last week
Smith did hug Whitlock after the medal ceremony, pictured, and said he was an ‘absolute star in the competition’
The silver means Smith now has three medals across three different Olympics – but no gold medals
Smith even looked downcast as he was presented with his silver medal, pictured
Defence: Louis Smith said he did show Max Whitlock respect but claimed people were jumping to the wrong conclusion because it was not shown in TV
Denial: He also denied that footage taken during the final showed him saying ‘that’s bulls**t man’
But some people defended Smith for showing how ‘gutted’ he was not to win Olympic gold
‘Three different Olympics – three different medals – well, two silvers, one bronze – I’ve still got it.’
But Team GB fans on social media quickly turned on Smith.
One Twitter user called Francesca wrote: ‘Louis Smith I don’t care how gutted you are – you’ve just shaken the American’s hand & not even congratulated your own team mate?’
Another user called @rachelbull99 added: ‘If only Louis Smith could show an ounce of sportsmanship and congratulate his TEAMMATE Max Whitlock #SourGrapes’
And ‘Emma [PB] also wrote on Twitter: ‘When opponents from different teams can show sportsmanship and respect, it’s damn right shameful Louis Smith couldn’t for his own team mate.’
But some defended Smith and praised him for his show of emotion.
Chris Dixon wrote on Twitter: ‘I know some people are criticising Louis Smith. I’d rather see someone that gutted with silver than coming 3rd and acting like they’ve won.’
The athlete, from Peterborough, did pay tribute to his history-making teammate Whitlock.
He said: ‘Max was unbelievable. I kept my eye a little bit on the floor final. it’s hard to keep your composure when your team mate has gone out and won a gold medal.
‘Max has been an absolute star in this competition.’
He was once told he would struggle to make it as a gymnast because he had the ‘wrong sort of feet’.
But Max Whitlock defied his critics and cemented his place in history last night by winning two gold medals in Rio.
The 23-year-old became the first British gymnast to take gold, with a flawless, composed floor routine. Less than two hours later, his skills on the pommel horse earned him a second victory.
Fellow Briton Louis Smith, 27 – one of Whitlock’s main competitors – had to settle for silver on the pommel, as he did at the London 2012 Games.
It takes Whitlock’s medal total in Rio to three, following his bronze in the men’s all-round event on Wednesday.
Last night, bookmakers Coral slashed the odds of him being crowned 2016’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year to 6-1.
The gymnast from Hemel Hempsted overcame glandular fever which left him bedridden for three weeks last year. And in May this year, he was forced to pull out of the European Championships because of a virus, casting doubts over his ability to recover fully in time for the Olympics.
But Whitlock laid to rest any fears over his health with a stunning floor routine followed by a commanding turn on the pommel.
‘Magic’ Max Whitlock, 23, instantly became a national hero when he made history for Britain after winning the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal in gymnastics – and did it again an hour later by beating Louis Smith on the pommel horse
A delighted Justin Rose, pictured, poses with his Olympic gold medal after victory on a dramatic final day of golf
Giles Scott, from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, cruised into a healthy lead in the sixth race of the men’s finn event
Jason Kenny triumphed over Callum Skinner in the Battle of the Brits cycling event at the Olympic Velodrome
Andy Murray made Olympic history in Rio last night after becoming the first tennis star to win back-to-back golds on Team GB’s Super Sunday.
The 29-year-old Scot defeated Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in an epic final to win his second consecutive Olympic tennis gold following his victory in London four years ago.
Just weeks after his second Wimbledon victory, Murray was in floods of tears as he became the first person in history to win two Olympic gold medals in the singles competition and the first person to defend the title.
His brother Jamie tweeted about his sibling’s extraordinary success, saying: ‘Double Gold Medalist @andy_murray Extraterrestrial. Raised by a family in Dunblane, Scotland’.
It came as Team GB secured six gold medals overall yesterday – the greatest day in British Olympic history since 1908.
His win in Rio came in a match that lasted more than four hours as he and del Potro slugged it out in a back-and-forth contest.
He was moved to tears at the end of his match and afterwards said it was ‘one of the hardest matches’ he had to play for a major title.
‘Getting to carry the flag at the opening ceremony was an amazing experience and I was very honoured. I found that quite emotional,’ he added.
‘I had to regroup and get my mind on the matches so, to finish it with a match like that, obviously I was fairly emotional at the end. It’s been a build-up of emotions over the last 10 days and (I’m) just very happy that I got over the line tonight’.
The Wimbledon champion came out on top in the end, bringing the number of golds Team GB won today to six – the same as during the famous ‘Super Saturday’ in 2012.
Murray won in four sets but had to fight for every point as his rival took him to the limit of his ability.
So weary was Murray when Del Potro’s final backhand landed in the net that he could barely raise his arms above his head and he engaged in a long, emotional hug with his opponent at the net.
Del Potro won bronze in London four years ago and made something of a comeback at the Olympics having struggled with a wrist injury in the past few years which required three operations.
Andy Murray has won a second Olympic gold medal after beating Juan Martin del Potro in the men’s tennis final
Murray looked to the skies after winning the monumental clash which saw him make history by defending the title
Del Potro looked dejected after the back-and-forth final in which they spent four hours battling over every point
Murray also had his head in his hands but was weeping tears of joy as he became the first person to win two Olympic gold medals in the tennis singles
Murray looked very weary at the end of the match and could barely raise his arms above his head in celebration
Tribute: His brother Jamie tweeted about his sibling’s extraordinary success, saying: ‘ Double Gold Medalist @andy_murray Extraterrestrial. Raised by a family in Dunblane, Scotland’
They were each on court for the fourth straight day, because rain washed out play Wednesday, leading organizers to eliminate the 24 hours of rest between the semifinals and final.
Murray’s win continued a stellar year for the Scot, after winning his second Wimbledon title in July and welcoming his baby daughter Sophia into the world in February.
History-makers Andy Murray and Max Whitlock helped take Team GB into second place on the medal table at Rio 2016 after winning three golds between them on day nine of the Games.
Golfer Justin Rose and cyclist Jason Kenny added further gloss to a fine day’s competition in Rio with two more golds.
Giles Scott also secured gold in the men’s finn class sailing, however his medal will not be confirmed until the races are completed on Tuesday.
The overall medal tally for Team GB stands at 38, including 15 golds.
Murray stood tall on the podium as he was joined by silver medallist del Potro, left, and bronze medallist Kei Nishikori, right
Murray was overjoyed to add another Olympic gold medal to his collection along with his second Wimbledon title
Compared to Wimbledon his celebrations were somewhat more muted as he waved to the supportive crowd in Rio
The pair embraced at the net after their epic clash in Rio with del Potro collapsing on the net at the point of defeat
Gymnast Whitlock, 23, had earlier become the first British man to win an Olympic medal on the floor which he followed with a second gold on the pommel horse 75 minutes later.
Earlier this week, he became Team GB’s first all-round men’s gymnastics medallist since Walter Tysall 108 years earlier by winning a bronze medal on the individual all-around.
He told the BBC: ‘For hours and hours in a gym, for years and years – and you get a minute to show it what you’ve been working on. To do it today, the Olympic Games, I don’t know what to say.’
His exploits on day nine in Rio – including defeating team-mate Louis Smith on the horse – took Britain’s gold medal haul to 13 after Rose edged a tense final round on the sport’s return to the Olympics to take the men’s individual strokeplay.
Kenny, the 28-year-old reigning Olympic sprint champion beat team mate Callum Skinner to add a 14th gold, while sailor Giles Scott’s victory in the men’s finn will be confirmed in the medal race on Tuesday.
It meant Britain moved ahead of China into second place on the overall scoreboard, behind only the US.
Kenny’s gold in the velodrome took his career tally to five, having won a fourth in the team sprint with Skinner and Phil Hindes on Thursday.
His only defeat in Olympic competition was at the 2008 Beijing Games, when Sir Chris Hoy beat him in the sprint.
Speaking on the BBC, Sir Chris – a six-time champion – said Kenny had the potential ‘to be the Michael Phelps of the British team’.
A gold in his next event, the men’s keirin on Tuesday, would take him level with Sir Chris.
Responding, Kenny said: ‘I will give it my go. We’ve got a day off now which would be much appreciated – I’m dying on my a*** here.’
It takes Murray’s total number of Olympic medals to three after also winning silver in the mixed doubles in London 2012
The proud Scot raised the Union Jack above his head as he enjoyed the historic win in front of a packed-out crowd
Murray has enjoyed a stellar year so far after winning Wimbledon and welcoming his baby daughter Sophia into the world in February
Murray was on court for a fourth straight day after rain earlier this week forced the organisers to ditch the planned 24-hour break between the semis and the final
Whitlock’s golds sandwiched Rose’s historic victory on the golf course.
The 36-year-old from Hampshire narrowly defeated Ryder Cup teammate Henrik Stenson after being neck-and-neck for almost every ball of the final round.
Rose, the world number 12, wrote his name into the history books earlier in the tournament after carding the first ever hole-in-one in Olympic history.
And he took the gold by landing an approach shot within inches of the final pin to leave him with a simple putt for the title.
Speaking after the event, he said: ‘Today proved to be a great final, and a great final round.’
Rose said he decided to sing the national anthem as he took his place on the podium, but could only hear himself.
He said: ‘Normally you sing it when you’re in a stadium with 80,000 people, so I realised how poor my singing is.
‘But I muddled through the words. I think I got most of them right. It was just an amazing experience, it really was.’
He added: ‘It’s something I’ve focused on, it’s something that I’ve been hungry for, it’s something that I wanted to peak for. It’s been at the very forefront of my mind in the last few months for sure’.