Hemel's Max Whitlock wins Olympic bronze in Rio
Hemel gymnast Max Whitlock has landed a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics.
He became the first British gymnast in 108 years to medal in the men’s all-around competition after finishing third on Wednesday.
Japan’s Kohei Uchimura won the gold medal with Oleg Verniaiev on Ukraine taking silver.
It was GB’s first gymnastics medal of this Olympics and came on a hugely successful day for the country’s athletes.
A delighted Max said afterwards: “My coach and I, Scott Hann, have been working so hard over the past four years. We stepped out of London 2012 and I wanted to prove myself as an all-rounder and I’ve done that. I feel I’ve completed that target now.
“Kohei has been my idol for a long time so I’m very proud for him and Oleg, I’ve been competing with him for years. He’s been producing huge scores in the last few years and I’m very honoured to come third to those two.
“That Team GB have won more medals today makes it even better. We are very strong, we’re such a big team, and hopefully we can go back to the village and everyone be proud of our achievements.”
Max began on the pommel horse - he is currently world champion on the apparatus – and scored an impressive 15.875 to be in first place after the first round.
He was still second after completing the rings, perhaps one of his weaker pieces, and after completing a difficult vault and and the parallel bars held third.
With two apparatus to go he then made it through his high bar routine. That left the floor, another of Max’s strong apparatus. He put in an excellent routine but as he performed first he then had a long, nervous wait to see if he could hold on to third place and bronze. He did.
Jane Allen, British Gymnastics CEO: “We are thrilled Max Whitlock has secured this first gymnastics medal for Team GB. It’s a fantastic result for Great Britain, British Gymnastics and all those who invest in and support our high performance programme – coaches, UK Sport and the National Lottery.
There’s a big team behind the scenes but it’s our gymnasts who step courageously into the spotlight and perform out of their skin these superhuman feats for their country. National pride is soaring and we couldn’t be prouder.”
Max goes for further glory on the pommel horse and floor on Sunday.