‘The potential is there for me to go and maybe win gold’

Max Whitlock won gold on the pommel horse at the Echo Arena, Liverpool during the Artistic Gymnastics British Championships . Picture (c) Nigel French/PA Wire

Max Whitlock won gold on the pommel horse at the Echo Arena, Liverpool during the Artistic Gymnastics British Championships . Picture (c) Nigel French/PA Wire

0
Have your say

We recently caught up with Olympian & Aylesbury Nissan ambassador Max Whitlock to find out how the double Olympic bronze medallist is faring on his Road to Rio.

Here’s what he had to say.

Winning at the Glasgow World Cup last month was certainly a good start to the year for me, especially following on from the end of last season with the gold and two silvers I got at the World Championships.

I had my target heading into the Glasgow World Cup and that was to perform a clean routine, so I’m happy to have done that and it’s a good base for the rest of this year.

I don’t know what it is about Glasgow, but I am really starting to enjoy going there to compete and I seem to find success every time!

There have been some brilliant competitions in the city, whether it’s the World Champs, a World Cup or the Commonwealth Games.

The atmosphere at every single one has been crazy and I wouldn‘t mind going there for a few more that’s for sure.

We’ve just had the British Championships in Liverpool which also went well and it’s not long now until the European Championships.

The British and Europeans are important as competitions on their own because they are big events but being an Olympic year they are definitely also crucial in the lead-up to Rio.

It’s important to peak at the right times in this sort of year. I always get a few competitions in the bag before a major event – I have done this pretty much every year since London 2012.

I’ve had a lot of experience of this type of structure so I know when to get my head down and get the numbers of routines in and when to do competitions, so hopefully that experience can pay off.

Talking about Rio, the mood in the British camp was incredibly high after securing quota places for the Olympics at the Worlds last year.

On the men’s side we’d never beaten China in the team event before and never expected to – we had always seen it as Japan and China would fight it out for first and second but third was up for grabs.

To come out with silver was crazy and that meant we qualified the team for Rio as well, so we made a lot of history in that one competition. We can use that experience and go into this year on a high.

It is always going to be tough to medal at the Olympics but we’ll be as clean as possible and do the best routines we can possibly do.

What we’ve done in the last few years – at the World Championships and London 2012 – shows that the potential is definitely there.

As an athlete you always have to aim for the best and with my previous results, the potential is there for me personally to go and maybe win gold in an individual event.

I try to keep medals at the back of my mind on the day itself though because it is just about going there and doing what I have worked towards in training.

I will have done the routines hundreds of times in the back room and at training, so I just want to go there and do what I know I can do.

> Aylesbury Nissan are proud to support Max Whitlock on his road to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. To find out more about Nissan’s partnership with Team GB, visit nissan.co.uk/uniteandexcite