Who is Luke Whitehouse, Britain's new gymnastics champion?

Luke Whitehouse is Great Britain’s newest and brightest European gymnastics champion.

The little-known 20-year-old twisted and tumbled his way to floor gold on his major championship debut in Antalya.

He followed in the footsteps of Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Dominick Cunningham to become Britain’s third European champion on that piece of apparatus.

But what is Luke’s story and his journey to the top step in Turkey?

First tango in Halifax

Luke is from Skircoat Green in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

According to the Yorkshire Post, his first taste in the sport came at an after-school club at Salterhebble Junior and Infants School.

Via Diamonds Gymnastics in his hometown, he moved to Leeds Gymnastics Club aged 15 - a club that has produced a number of Olympians including Kathy Williams, Team GB’s first black gymnast, and Nile Wilson.

Luke trains 30 hours a week at the club alongside a degree at Leeds Beckett University; named their Sportsman of the Year in 2022.

One of a kind

Aged just 19, Luke pulled off a world first.

At a World Challenge Cup event in Croatia last year, he became the first known gymnast in the world to complete a triple-back somersault.

His breakout year was 2019 when he represented Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku, Azerbaijan.

2022 was Luke’s first year as a senior gymnast and he reached the World Cup Final, as well as being selected as reserve for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Gaining momentum

Luke has made his name for his feats on the floor but he is a titled gymnast across a number of apparatus.

He trains and competes all six apparatus as an all-around competitor and edged Max Whitlock to the English title on parallel bars earlier this year.

In 2023 has banked his first World Cup medal, floor bronze, and in March earned one of the most significant results of his young career by beating world bronze medallist Jake Jarman to claim a maiden British title on floor.

Dream week in Antalya

Making his major championship debut at the Europeans, Luke played his part in the British men’s team that claimed bronze on the first day of competition.

The 20-year-old produced the performance of his life to win gold in the floor apparatus final, wowing the judges and posting a massive score of 14.900.

The youngster claimed the scalp of Olympic floor champion Artem Dolgopyat in the process.

Luke is kicking on at the perfect time with the likes of Whitlock, world floor champion Giarnni Regini-Moran and Joe Fraser still to slot back into the British team.

The next step on the road to Paris 2024 for Britain’s gymnasts is September’s World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.

Team GB have already qualified a full complement of ten gymnasts for the Games across men’s and women’s events thanks to a record-breaking performance at the 2022 World Championships in Liverpool.

Sportsbeat 2023