Hemel’s Max Whitlock goes for Rio gold

Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock

Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock

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Hemel’s Max Whitlock will lead Great Britain’’s bid for an Olympic gymastics gold medal in Rio.

Max clinched the world title in Glasgow last year and will start favourite in the pommel.

He will be competing alongside GB rival Louis Smith.

The team will be looking to build on their excellent performance at London 2012. They claimed four medals – which matched their haul from all their previous Games.

Whitlock won bronze medals in both the pommel and team events.

He said: “I’m honoured to be selected to represent Team GB. It’ll be my first time ever going to Rio, so I can’t wait.

“I try to look at it like any other competition. I want to go there, enjoy the experience and do my best. That’s the main thing.

“The results that we have got behind us as a team give us a lot of confidence and hopefully we can all have successful competitions out in Rio.”

Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson and Brinn Bevanare also included in the men’s team – together they won world team silver last year.

Max’s world title earned him a nomination for the 2015 BBC Sports Personality Of The Year.

At the awards ceremony he served up a spellbinding display of tricks and flips – all while dressed in a suit and balancing on top of a grand piano in front of a sell-out 7,500 crowd in Belfast.

The Rio Olympics begin on August 5.