Joe Fraser becomes first Briton to win European gymnastics men's all-around title

The first day of men's artistic gymnastics competition at Munich 2022 also decided 13 qualifiers to October's World Championships

By Scott Bregman
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

British gymnast Joe Fraser has made history again.

The 23-year-old became the first man from his nation to win continental all-around gold, when he claimed the title on Thursday (18 August) at the 2022 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Munich, Germany.

"It's been one real real big journey. Standing here today with the gold medal around my neck is not just for me. It's for the whole team. My coach has been there every step of the way, we had so many obstacles along this journey to get here today. Even to compete six apparatus," he said afterward. "To be here with this medal means more than you know."

Fraser earned a total score of 85.565, slipping past Turkey's Ahmet Onder (85.131), who led the competition after the second of three subdivisions. Onder's teammate Adel Asil was the bronze medalist after totalling 84.465. Onder and Asil's medals are the first in the event for Turkey.

For Fraser, the history-making result comes three years after he became the first man from Great Britain to claim a world title, winning on the parallel bars at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

Fraser's road to European championship glory

On Thursday, the Team GB Olympian from Tokyo 2020 in 2021 started on the floor exercise where he posted 13.633. He then added scores of 14.600 on pommel horse; 14.266 on still rings; 14.300 for vault; and 15.066 for parallel bars; before heading to his final routine on the horizontal bar.

"Every routine was really important. Floor was important because the landings I haven't been able to do enough to know exactly where the floor is when I'm trying to land. Pommel (horse) was really important because it is a routine I have been relying on to carry me through the other apparatus. Rings is just as important, I got to stay there around that 14 mark," he explained. "Vault, to land on my feet was just a dream come true. To then deliver that parallel bars routine was just something I really needed, especially moving into high bar to give me that extra push."

Needing better than 13.266 for gold, Fraser delivered a 13.700 to grab the title.

"I knew I had to deliver a good enough high bar routine and I did actually have a mistake in the middle, but I stuck the dismount. I think that carried me through," he said.

The competition, part of a nine-sport European Championships event in Munich, also served as a qualifier to the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, England, which are scheduled for October. The top 13 national squads punched their tickets to the event: Great Britain, Turkey, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.

Competition continues Friday (19 August) with the junior men's team and all-around finals. The senior men's team final is scheduled for Saturday (20 August), and competition wraps up on Sunday (21 August) with the junior and senior apparatus finals.

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