Max Whitlock back to his best with classy win at London Open

Max Whitlock. Picture (c) Jake McNulty
Max Whitlock. Picture (c) Jake McNulty
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Gymnastics superstar Max Whitlock was at his imperious best as he recorded an emphatic victory at the 2015 London Open – setting a new personal best all-round score in the process.

Competing at Redbridge Sports And Leisure Centre, the event saw some of the youngest men’s artistic gymnasts battling it out for titles alongside top senior gymnasts trialling for the 2015 World Championships taking place in Glasgow in less than a month’s time.

Max Whitlock. Picture (c) Jake McNulty

Max Whitlock. Picture (c) Jake McNulty

The senior competition – the Westminster Cup – was won Hemel Hempstead’s Max, who scored a new high score of 91.600, which shows an incredible improvement after a tough year struggling with glandular fever.

This world class score shows that Max is in great form to challenge the world’s best in Glasgow. Not only an incredible all-around score, Max also impressed on individual apparatus, scoring 16.300 on the pommel, 15.700 on the floor and 15.100 on the parallel bars.

In the silver medal position was Leeds’ Nile Wilson, who also scored a personal best in the all-around with 88.800, which included a 15.250 on parallel bars, 15.000 on vault and 14.950 on the rings.

Completing the top three was Max’s South Essex Gymnastics Club team-mate Brinn Bevan who continues to impress in his first year as a senior gymnast. He took the bronze medal with 87.750, and also looked solid on the parallel bars with a score of 15.050.

In fourth place was Southport’s Daniel Purvis with 85.800 - including 15.650 on the parallel bars to take the gold – in fifth was Pegasus’ James Hall with 85.000, and in sixth was Reiss Beckford with 84.600.

Other notable performances came from Kristian Thomas (Earls) who scored 15.500 to win the vault and 15.050 to win the high bar.

It was also another close battle on the pommel horse between Huntingdon pair Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings. Louis scored an impressive 15.950 to take silver behind Max, and Dan finished very closely behind with 15.900.

Parallel bars proved to be a strong piece with Ashley Watson (Leeds) taking silver with 15.400 and Frank Baines (Southport) bagging the bronze with 15.300. Taking the final apparatus title was Courtney Tulloch (Pegasus) on the rings with 15.450.