MAX Whitlock has ditched his lifelong dream of winning the Olympic all-around title as he focuses on regaining pommel gold at the World Championships in Stuttgart next week.

The 26-year-old Whitlock grew up eager to emulate some of his gymnastics heroes who reached what he regarded as the pinnacle of the sport, and would claim all-around bronze in Rio in 2016.

But Whitlock's desire to extend his career to at least two more Games has forced him to reach the reluctant conclusion that he is better off sticking with the specialised individual apparatus.

The Basildon based Whitlock said: "To be brutally honest it wouldn't be a good idea to go back to all-around right now - I'm better off making sure everything I'm currently doing is crisp and precise.

"After London 2012 the cycle for me was about proving myself as an all-around gymnast and I'm so happy with the product that I got at the end of it, which was a bronze medal.

"I don't want to regret going back to all-around and seeing my pommel or floor routines slip as a result.

"Moving towards Tokyo and probably beyond, I have to look at my age. My dream now is to go to two more Olympics and not doing all-around will definitely help me achieve that."

Having focused solely on his two Olympic title-winning apparatus since Rio, Whitlock has now also returned to both parallel bars and high bar, but will give floor a miss in Stuttgart.

Whitlock says he has emerged stronger from a challenging 2018 season, in which he had to settle for silver medals at both the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, and fell from the pommel at the European Championships in Glasgow.

Central to his shift of perspective was the birth of his daughter Willow with his wife Leah in February last year.

"I'm still 100 per cent about going for gold, but if there is a failure I won't be so much dwelling on it," added Whitlock.

"If I come home and see a massive smile from Willow I can forget about everything else very quickly."