Olympic24: Whitlock and Purvis just short of all-around podium

Olympic24: Whitlock and Purvis just short of all-around podium

31 October 2015 / 10:10

A fall put an end to Max Whitlock’s all-around medal hopes at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, while Dan Purvis also finished off the podium in seventh. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Max Whitlock and Dan Purvis finish fifth and seventh respectively at the World Championships
  • Bobby Crutchley names his squad for the World League Final
  • Ashley McKenzie shine at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam
  • Women’s team pursuit win bronze with only three riders  at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali

Fall sees Whitlock miss out on all-around medal


Sport often comes down to fine margins, and for Max Whitlock one slip of the hand proved fatal to his all-around World Championship hopes on Friday night.

It all started so well for the two-time Olympic bronze medallist, as he produced a stunning display on the pommel horse for 16.100 – the highest score from anyone across all apparatus over the whole night.

Strong showings on the rings and vault followed before another impressive display on the parallel bars left him second behind Japanese maestro Kohei Uchimura.

But then came the high bar, and a fall midway through his routine left him with a score of 12.833 and a mountain to climb.

Like the team final, however, he stepped up to the mark and produced a brilliant floor display to leave him on 89.249 in fifth – 0.850 away from China's Shudi Deng in third while Uchimura claimed his sixth consecutive crown.

But Whitlock was philosophical in his disappointment and, with pommel and floor final still to come, is determined to bounce back in style.

“I have to take the positives out of this but obviously I was gutted with that fall. Looking at the scores now that was a few marks down on what I scored in the last team final,” he said.

“So I can take the positives out of that and it was good to pick myself up and finish strong on the floor like I did.

“It's sport at the end of the day and in gymnastics that's the way it goes; it's all about what happens on the day and that's what happened today.

“I'm looking forward to the finals coming up now and it's good to have a shot at redemption and it's good that I've qualified for the floor and pommel.”

Purvis powers to seventh

Dan Purvis 

Also in action was Dan Purvis who turned in an impressively consistent performance and six clean routines.

Twelve months ago Purvis sat 11th after the individual final, but this time around he set about beating every score from last year to finish seventh on 89.064.

Like Whitlock his competition is not yet over with the floor final still to come and he says he will take plenty of confidence from his display as he looks to add another individual medal to the world floor bronze he claimed in 2010.

“I’m really, really happy with that,” he said. “Last year I finished 11th with a clean competition and this year it’s seventh, so I’m just really satisfied that all my training is paying off to be honest.

“To be able to compete to such a high level in this final in a home arena, I really couldn’t be happier.

“A lot of people may just look at the fact that I didn’t come away with a medal but I know myself that all the hard work is paying off, and it’s really looking good heading towards Rio.

“So I feel like I can go into tomorrow and just enjoy it. I’d love to come away with another medal but we’ll see.

“I think bronze is up for grabs for sure, so I’ll get a leg massage this evening, freshen up, and just try and stick some landings.”

Crutchley shuffles pack for World League Final

Bobby Crutchley 

Great Britain’s men’s coach Bobby Crutchley has rung the changes after naming his squad for the World League Final in Raipur, India.

With Great Britain having already secured their place at the Olympics in Rio, Crutchley has opted to rest a number of high profile players for the tournament from November 27 to December 6.

There are eight changes in total to the group that competed in the semi-final of the competition in June, with captain Barry Middleton and all-time leading scorer Ashley Jackson among the most eye-catching of those absentees.

Defender Dan Fox will instead take on captaincy duties with Ian Sloan and keeper Harry Gibson both coming in for their first competitive senior tournament for Great Britain, with Scotland duo Alan Forsyth and Chris Grassick are also included.

Simon Mantell, who has recently returned from long term injury, is set to compete in his first international tournament since the 2014 Commonwealth Games and could reach 200 international caps in the latter stages of the competition.

Great Britain are in a pool with Australia, Belgium and Canada with the other pool featuring Argentina, Germany, India and Netherlands. 

McKenzie reaches third round in Abu Dhabi

Ashley Mckenzie  

Ashley McKenzie was Britain's best performer on the first day of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, reaching the third round before losing to Bekir Ozlu of Turkey.

McKenzie and teammate Nekoda Davis were both in action on the opening day, with the latter defeated in the first round of the -57kg round by Polish underdog Arleta Podolak.

However, McKenzie fared slightly better, beating Palestinian judoka Simon Yacoub in the first round before scoring another ippon to end his second round contest with Belgium's Senne Wyns after just one minute and 45 seconds.

He was then up against Ozlu who had earlier pulled off the biggest upset of the day by defeating world number three Yeldos Smetov in the second round.

And while getting off to a solid start, McKenzie was caught off guard by a powerful throw for an ippon and with it saw his chances of victory disappear.

Barker illness can’t stop GB women

Great Britain Cycling Team battled to bronze in the women’s team pursuit with only three riders after an extraordinary effort at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali.

Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald and Ciara Horne defeated the Chinese quartet by less than two-tenths of a second in 4:26.662 to win Britain’s only medal of the opening day after Elinor Barker felt unwell and could not complete the race.

Barker had to take to the line in order to fulfil UCI rules but pulled off the track once the quartet had started the 16 laps of the Alicides Nieto Patino velodrome.

Trott, Horne, Barker and Rowsell had qualified second fastest behind Canada in 4:21.736 before Archibald replaced Trott, who will ride the omnium on Saturday and Sunday, for round one.

There they lost to the USA but the time of 4:23.661 was enough to secure a spot in the bronze-medal ride.

In the men’s team pursuit, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Andy Tennant, Steven Burke and Owain Doull were fifth after catching Germany in their final ride.

Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Lewis Oliva were denied a ride for a medal in the men’s team sprint with the fifth fastest effort in qualifying in 44.311 seconds.

In the women’s team sprint, Victoria Williamson and Katy Marchant were ninth in 33.746 seconds as Williamson took on the opening lap. China won gold with Team Jayco-AIS second and Rusevelo third.

Sportsbeat 2015