Whitlock scuppered by high bar fall at World Championships

Max Whitlock. Picture (c) Jake McNulty
Max Whitlock. Picture (c) Jake McNulty

Max Whitlock finished fifth in the men’s all-around Gymnastics World Championships final at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow last night as Japanese superstar Kohei Uchimura won his sixth consecutive world title.

Max unfortunately suffered a fall on high bar that left him out of the medals, while team-mate Daniel Purvis once again showed his consistency as he performed cleanly across all six apparatus to finish in seventh.

Max got his campaign off to a sublime start on the pommel horse; he demonstrated all his skill in a hugely difficult routine, scoring a superb 16.100 points to record the best score of the opening rotation of apparatus.

On rings he showed his strength and composure as a tidy routine with a perfectly landed twisting dismount scored 14.516. Max had a few backward steps landing his twisting vault to score 15 but it was still extremely impressive for such a difficult vault.

He then had a long wait to start his parallel bars routine, using the time to prepare the bars with chalk as the judges conferred over the previous routine, but he wasn’t at all fazed. He showed his experience to put in a brilliant routine, releasing the bars and swinging under one bar, dismounting perfectly for an impressive 15.100 points and to place second.

On high bar, unfortunately his medal challenge faltered as, trying to re-catch the bar with crossed hands after his first release move, he couldn’t quite get a grip and fell. He completed his routine but could only score 12.833.

Finishing on floor Max took the opportunity to make amends; twisting furiously though his difficult tumbles and scoring 15.700, he saluted the crowd for a final total of 89.294.

Max spoke afterwards, saying: “I feel OK, I’m gutted with high bar but I think we both enjoyed it and can look forward positively.

“I’m definitely happy with pommel and floor so feel good going in to the finals tomorrow.”

The World Gymnastics Championships continue today with the first day of apparatus finals, with Max and Dan in action once again on the floor, before Max and Louis Smith compete on pommel.