Hemel Hempstead's Whitlock helps Team GB to fourth place
Hemel Hempstead-born Max Whitlock will now be looking to defend his Olympic pommel horse title at the weekend
Hemel Hempstead’s Max Whitlock will be going for gold again this weekend.
The star Team GB gymnast will be defending his pommel horse Olympic title on Saturday morning, UK time, after qualifying for the final at the Tokyo Games.
Whitlock’s effort in the pommel comes after he helped Team GB’s gymnastics team finish fourth in the team competition on Monday.
After qualifying at the weekend, the team of Whitlock, Joe Fraser, James Hall and Giarnni Regini-Moran returned to the Ariake Gymnastics Centre for the final.
They produced a series of brilliant routines, excelling on their last piece, pommel horse, to overtake the United States to finish just outside the medals.
GB finished fourth with a score of 255.760, behind gold medalists Russian Olympic Committee (262.500), Japan (262.397) who won silver and China (261.894) bronze.
The fourth-place finish matches Britain’s result from five years ago in Rio.
Whitlock’s first action in the team final came on the high bar and he produced some neat work and a great dismount for a score of 13.366.
Sitting in fifth going into the last rotation of the pommel, Team GB were looking to overhaul the USA and Whitlock was the last to compete.
He produced a sensational finale, scoring 14.966 to help Britain move above the USA into fourth.
And, despite finishing just outside the medals, the Hemel-born star felt it was a performance the team could be proud of.
“Coming in, we knew we were around a top five team, we knew that potential was there but we knew it would take a lot to break into the medal positions,” Whitlock told the BBC.
“China, Japan and the Russian Olympic Committee are all incredible and they have shown that through the whole cycle up to these Olympic Games.
“For us, we just wanted to go out, we had high risk and I think we can look back and be proud.
“Fourth place, yes it’s hard because it’s just outside the medals but it’s something to be really proud of.”