Smith stars as GB reach final
Thomas, Purvis and Smith all impress as GB top session charts
Louis Smith: Impressive on the pommel horse
Great Britain's place in their first Olympic men's gymnastics team final in 88 years was confirmed after a poor performance from medal hopefuls Japan.
Louis Smith, Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham competed in the first subdivision of three at the North Greenwich Arena on Saturday, but despite beating reigning Olympic champions China with an impressive team total of 272.420, they had to wait to see if they had made the top eight and qualify for the final.
However, with Japan's three-time world champion Kohei Uchimura and team-mates Kazuhito Tanaka and Koji Yamamuro looking slightly off-form, Britain were placed second behind the United States after session two - enough to see secure passage to the final.
With teams from Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Spain and Romania still to come, Britain will still be in the top eight and qualify for the final no matter what happens in the final qualification subdivision.
It is the climax of an astounding year for the men's team after they fell short of Olympic qualification in last year's World Championships in Tokyo.
They earned their place at London 2012 in the second-chance test event, held at the arena in January, before going on to claim team gold in May's European Championships - the first ever major championships team gold medal for Britain.
"It was just awesome," Purvis said after qualification. "It all kicked off on rings really. We all hit our dream routines and since then we just kept going.
"I think it was a case of keeping our focus. It's easy to get distracted by the crowd but as soon as we were out there it was like another competition really.
"It's the total opposite of what happened in Tokyo really. We did all the same preparation and didn't hit it but today we did and it just feels great."
In the afternoon session, Japan started on the horizontal bar, and Kazuhito Tanaka seemed to be flying through his routine before losing his grip and ending up one-handed.
Three-time all-round world champion Uchimura then made an uncharacteristic error, falling from the bar in his fourth release, before Yusuke Tanaka also hit the deck in what was a nervy start for the 2008 Olympic silver medallists.
The shaky performance continued on floor until Uchimura steadied the ship with a tidy routine which scored 15.766.
However, things soon hit another rocky patch, when the 2008 Olympic silver all-around medallist fell off the pommel horse mid-routine and failed to control his dismount, scoring a lowly 12.466.
The United States, in contrast, started well, with Olympic debutant Jacob Dalton, Jonathan Horton and John Orozco all scoring higher than 15 on the still rings after steady performances on the pommel horse.
Samuel Mikulak then fired in two impressive vaults in his bid for an individual final, scoring an average of 16.083, before an efficient team performance on the parallel bars.
Hungary's double world pommel horse champion, Krisztian Berki, competing solely on his specialist piece of apparatus, could only score 15.033 after breaking form in his legs during a travel.
Berki is one of Briton Smith's biggest rivals for pommel horse gold and relies on producing stylish routines rather than completing those with a high start value.
His score could well be an extra boost to Smith, who produced a stunning routine of 15.800 in the morning session to put him top of qualification for the apparatus.
The United States finished strongly, amassing a team score of 275.342, 2.922 points ahead of Britain after subdivision two. Japan were in third with 270.503.