Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock admits he had never been so nervous competing on the pommel as he led the Great Britain charge at the World Artistic Gymnastic Championships.
The reigning champions looks set to make it through to this week’s final in Montreal after scoring 15.300 for his routine but is likely to miss out on the floor after placing a hand down on his penultimate pass.
Despite his disappointment on the floor following a difficult routine, Whitlock is pleased with how qualification panned out.
“If I’m really honest I’m pretty happy with the whole performance,” the 24-year-old said.
“The floor is a new routine so I have no regrets in really going for it after no competition practice, four out of five new tumbles so that’s pretty tough.
“I’ve never been so nervous as competing pommel which is really strange. Having made the floor mistake, it upped the pressure so I was just happy to stay on.
“I can definitely clean it up a bit for the final. I have a few days rest now so can work on a few things ready for the weekend.”
It was a good day for two of Britain’s other competing gymnasts as Nile Wilson produced a fine score of 88.832 on all six apparatus in qualifying to all but guarantee him a spot in the next round.
Courtney Tulloch is also almost certain of a place in the rings final after scoring an impressive 14.766.
Wilson, who won bronze at the Rio Olympic Games on the horizontal bar, is delighted to have progressed to the final after recovering from an ankle injury.
He said: “I really enjoyed it out there today, it’s a solid score with solid routines and a great experience being back on the world stage.
It’s been challenging to come back from my ankle injury so to be stood here right now shows how hard work pays off.
“All in all, I’m very satisfied, 100% there’s improvements to make for Thursday, I think maybe a couple of marks. I’ll go out there and smile and enjoy every moment.”
Tulloch added: “I’m pretty happy with today, there’s still some time to go but I look well placed. I felt a bit shaky and wasn’t totally confident about my performance so there’s work to be done to get ready for the final.”
The gymnasts’ aim in qualification is to place in the top 24 of the all-around rankings (those gymnasts that compete on all six apparatus) or the top eight on each individual apparatus in order to make the World Championship finals.
With the British boys competing in the second of four qualifying subdivisions, they now have a nervy wait until the completion of qualifying on Tuesday to find the final results.