Coming second to Olympic all-around champion Kohei Uchimura at the recent World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning may have been a confidence boost for Max Whitlock but the Briton insists he is hungry for more.
Fresh from helping Great Britain’s men to a historic fourth-place finish in the team final, Whitlock took advantage of a late call-up to the all-around final following Nile Wilson’s withdrawal with a wrist injury by coming away with a individual silver medal in China.
The 21-year-old, who matched the achievement of teammate Dan Keatings who finished second at the 2009 Worlds in London, posted a score of 90.473 overall with only Japan’s Uchimura bettering that total with 91.965 for his fifth successive all-around title.
The British gymnast is quickly accumulating an impressive collection of medals at major championships, including team and pommel horse bronze at London 2012, world pommel horse silver in 2013, three European golds as well as a hat-trick of titles at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
But Whitlock admits he still has plenty he wants to achieve, including attempting to get the better of Uchimura.
"To do what I have in China is amazing for me – to get that close,” he said.
"It is very hard to say (if I can beat Uchimura). It is all about what happens on the day.
"He is the best gymnast there has ever been. If I can close that gap even more, get really close and one day actually beat him, that would be a dream.
“To come out with a silver medal among that group of people gives me so much confidence, and it also relaxes me because I feel now one of my key targets has been achieved.
“To be known as a legend in your sport should be any athlete's dream and it is definitely one of my targets.
"I want to go on for as long as I can, do as many Olympics as I can. I am taking each year as it comes and this year has been fantastic, especially finishing with this result."
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