Max Whitlock wants legend status after Commonwealth success

Whitlock - summer star

Whitlock - summer star

First published in Sport by

MAX Whitlock’s main motivation is to become a legend in the world of gymnastics, according to his coach Scott Hann.

Whitlock won five medals at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to add to ones he had previously collected at the Olympics, World and European Championships.

But Hann fully expects 21-year-old Whitlock to remain fully motivated in pursuit of more medals.

And he feels Whitlock, who trains at Basildon’s South Essex Gymnastics Club, could well pick up another impressive medal haul at the World Championships in early October.

“Max could find himself with another four medals around his neck at the World Championships and that’s unheard of,” said Hann.

“The score he got in the all-round at the Commonwealths would’ve placed him second or third in the last World Championships and he’s right up there on the pommel as well.

“It’s the same on the floor and that helps the team who also have a really big opportunity to get a medal.

“That would be great for Max too because he wants to be like Sir Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy and be a name that’s remembered in sport.”

Hann is also adamant further success would not go to the head of Whitlock.

And he stressed the youngster would not be interested in the celebrity status sporting success can often result in.

“Max is very level headed and grounded and very modest too,” stressed Hann. “He knows what he’s here to do and that’s gymnastics at the highest level.

“He’s not doing it for his own self gain and what he can get out of it as a celebrity.

“He’s doing it because he wants to be a legend in the sports world.”

As a result, Whitlock is already back in training for the World Championships in China.

But Hann knows it will be tough for Whitlock and the rest of the Great Britain team to raise their game for another major event so soon after the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s very hard to raise yourself again and to also learn new skills to increase the start score,” said Hann.

“I would say that’s the biggest challenge facing Max now, especially this year with three major championships.

“He has had Europeans, Commonwealths and now a World Championships so it’s quite challenging but he’s handled everything superbly well so far.”

That has also been good news for the South Essex Gymnastics Club which has again been inundated with requests from new members following Whitlock’s latest medal winning heroics.

“Everytime there’s a big event and GB and England do well, with or without Max, we get many more enquiries,” said Hann.

“It’s all win, win and hopefully that can continue.”

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