Basildon's Max Whitlock takes second gold medal

Basildon's Max Whitlock takes second gold medal

Basildon's Max Whitlock takes second gold medal

First published in Sport

MAX Whitlock made it two Commonwealth Games gold medals in the space of two days with an outstanding display in the all-around final in Glasgow yesterday.

Whitlock, who trains at Basildon’s South Essex Gymnastics Club, led the way with an impressive 90.631.

But, with two more days of competition still to come, the 21-year-old cannot afford to revel in his success at this stage.

“I still have to make sure I’m getting the right rest and food and can’t celebrate anything at the moment,” said Whitlock.

“I have more finals coming up that I need to be ready for and hopefully there will be even more to celebrate by the time they’re over.”

Whitlock led throughout the entire competition before clinching victory in his last rotation, on the horizontal bar.

That ensured he came in ahead of Scotland’s Dan Keatings, who finished second, with Whitlock’s England team-mate Nile Wilson in third.

And Whitlock insisted coming out on top in the all-around final was a fantastic feeling.

“It feels amazing and I’ve had goose bumps all over my body,” said the double Olympic bronze medallist.

“Since London 2012 the all-around has been my massive target and to pull it off is great.

“To also finish it off standing next to those guys and my team-mates on the podium made it extra special.”

Whitlock will now be working on improving his score and trying to get closer to Japan’s legendary gymnast Kohei Unchimura who currently leads the world’s rankings.

But Whitlock knows catching Unchimura will not be an easy task.

“I’m honoured to just to be mentioned in the same sentence as him,” said Whitlock.

“He’s a huge idol of mine and someone I’ve looked up to my whole career.”

Whitlock will be going in the pommel horse, floor and rings final today and the parallel bars tomorrow.

And his coach Scott Hann is exceptionally proud of what the youngster has already achieved.

“Max has been brilliant. He’s kept his head down, showed how cool and calm he is and was totally inspirational,” said Hann.

“He was actually an all-rounder to begin with but his pommel horse moved on before his all-round did.

“Now his all-round is up there and with another four tenths of a point he will really be up there challenging.

“Max is still a little bit behind Unchimura but he made a couple of errors here.

“On the vault he made two big strides forward on landing and without that he would’ve been on about 91.5.

“We have a little way to go still but we have two years to get there.”

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