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Whitlock shines as Britain look good in title defence

May 22, 2014 21:44 pm

Great Britain remain on course to defend their men's team title at the gymnastics European Championships in Sofia.

The experienced team of Sam Oldham, Dan Keatings, Dan Purvis, Max Whitlock and Kristian Thomas finished top of the qualifying standings scoring 267.076 points.

Olympic pommel bronze medallist Whitlock was the star performer, posting the top score on his signature apparatus ahead of London 2012 champion Kristian Berki and also recording the best result on the floor.

“It’s a great as team that we’ve topped the standings and continue our form from when we took the gold last time," said Whitlock. 

"We try not to the think about the pressure or expectation going in to it, each of us knows what we are capable of and knows how hard we work in the gym every day for competitions like this and the aim is always to go out and put all that hard work into the routines on the day.

"Personally of course I’m really happy with my performance and looking forward to the apparatus finals but the main target for this event is the team and we have only completed part of the job, we now need to focus ready for the final.”

Whitlock qualified for the individual finals on the pommel and the floor, where he'll be joined by Purvis.

Reigning European silver medallist Oldham was the fourth best qualifier on the high bar and will be joined by British team-mate Thomas in that final.

© Sportsbeat 2014