Max Whitlock can look towards Tokyo 2020 with renewed confidence despite his near-miss at the World Gymnastics Championships in Doha.

The Basildon-based Whitlock missed out on the chance to become the first Briton to win three consecutive world crowns when he was edged out by China’s Xiao Ruoteng by virtue of a lower execution score in the pommel horse final.

But, coming after a year in which he was beaten by Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan at both the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships, the 25-year-old is determined to take positives from his performances in the Qatari capital.

Whitlock said: “I know I’ve made mistakes this year but I feel like I’ve improved my floor and pommel routines a lot and it is about looking to the long-term.

“I know I need to step it up even more in terms of execution.

“I can see where some of the deductions are now and I feel like I’ve really managed to finish the year on a high.”

Although Whitlock remains coy about his precise plans for Tokyo, the chances are he will submit to the team qualification process, which means expanding his repertoire to include the parallel bars and high bar.

Whitlock withdrew from all-around competition after winning bronze in Rio - a medal he considers his finest - but the arcane qualification procedure for 2020 makes it beneficial for him to restore at least two pieces of apparatus.

“I am training parallel bars and high bar behind the scenes at the moment but we’ll see where we go with that,” added Whitlock, who trains at the South Essex Gymnastics Club.

“As far as now is concerned, floor and pommel remain my priority.”

Another longer-term task for Whitlock is to get his name in the sport’s Code of Points, by inventing a unique move which the International Gymnastics Federation subsequently ratifies.

Six-times Doha medallist Simone Biles added a new, eponymous vault to her list of accomplishments this week but Whitlock insists he will not be rushed into nailing the pommel skill which will be known as the ‘Whitlock’.

He added: “It will be tough to get it done in time for Tokyo, because I have to consolidate this routine and when you add in one more skill, you’ve got to do it gradually over a series of competitions.

“But getting into the Code of Points remains my mission.

“Even if it’s after Tokyo, hopefully I’ll get my name in there for something that is very cool, and very difficult to achieve.”

Whitlock aside, Great Britain can be cautiously pleased with their overall performances in Doha, with Dominick Cunningham continuing to emerge as a world-level competitor after finishing fourth in the men’s vault.

Whitlock’s club-mate Brinn Bevan also reached the all-around final, finishing in 18th place.