MAX Whitlock made a disappointing return to international action as he failed to qualify for the pommel final at the European Gymnastics Championship in Basel.

The reigning Olympic and world champion, who trains at the South Essex Gymnastics Club in Basildon, was competing for the first time since regaining the latter title in Stuttgart in 2019.

Whitlock fell during his routine and scored 12.766, putting him in 43rd place, well outside the top eight places required for qualification.

He tweeted:"Mistakes happen, gutted with today's competition but it’s a huge learning curve."