GLASGOW, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Russia's men won the gymnastics team title at the European Championships for the third successive time on Saturday but only after their British hosts suffered calamities in the final high bar duel while pushing hard for the gold.
Russia's five-man team of Artur Dalaloyan, Nikita Nagornyy, Dmitrii Lankin, David Belyavskiy and Nikolai Kuksenkov were leading by just 1.132 points from Britain going into the horzontal bar, the last of the six disciplines.
Yet Dominick Cunningham had a woeful routine, twice slipping to earth off the high bar, before team mate James Hall also came off, effectively ending British hopes of gold at the SSE Hydro Arena.
The Russians, led by an outstanding performance from their Olympic team silver medallist Nagornyy across all six pieces of apparatus, then produced error-free programmes to take gold with a total of 257.260, nearly four points clear of Britain's 253.362.
European all-around silver medallist Dalaloyan was also exceptional, earning a 15.433 mark for his parallel bars routine and marks of more than 14.5 for his three other disciplines.
It was, though, a huge anti-climax for the British quintet of Cunningham, Hall, Joe Fraser, Courtney Tulloch and double Olympic champion Max Whitlock, who had performed superbly until the final rotation and had to settle for silver.
The French team of Julien Gobaux, Axel Augis, Loris Frasca, Edgar Boulet and Cyril Tommasone took the bronze with 246.928. (Reporting by Ian Chadband, Editing by Neville Dalton)