MAX Whitlock fell twice from his favoured pommel horse as he could only finish seventh on his return to the British Championships in Liverpool.

The 30-year-old took time away from the sport after winning a second consecutive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo in 2021 and admitted he struggled with his mental health after considering quitting the sport.

But he is now targeting a fourth Olympics and this weekend’s event was his most high-profile competition since the Games.

Whitlock, who trains at the South Essex Gymnastics Club in Basildon, posted a big score in qualifying but things did not go smoothly in the final as he twice came off the apparatus and scored only 10.450.

That left him well adrift of winner Joshua Nathan, and Whitlock will hope to fare better at the European Championships in Turkey next month.