He’s got the Max Factor as Whitlock soars to double gold
Gymnastics Artistic

He’s got the Max Factor as Whitlock soars to double gold

15 August 2016 / 08:35

You wait a century for an Olympic gymnastics gold to come along and then … two come along in just an hour.

Max Whitlock took flight in Rio yesterday, securing gold on the floor and pommel horse, the later just ahead of team-mate Louis Smith.

And his medals sparked a gold rush, in the space of just a few hours, golfer Justin Rose, cyclist Jason Kenny and Andy Murray had joined him on top of the podium, while Giles Scott had mathematically secured his gold too.

“I’ve completely outdone myself. I never go into competitions expecting to get a medal or even trying to think about it, I go in to do my job,” he said.

Max Whitlock pommel final

"For hours and hours in a gym, for years and years - and you get a minute to show it what you've been working on. To do it today, the Olympic Games, I don't know what to say.

"I kind of knew I had to re-focus, I had another job to do. It was very hard to take that (first gold) in, so now I think I'll take them both in at the same time.”

Whitlock famously doesn’t watch his rivals routines, which is just as well because his nerves would be shredded. He was leading the floor with key rivals Kenzo Shirai and Samuel Mikulak still to compete.

When the pressure got to them, he took gold, while Brazilian pair Diego Hypolito and Arthur Mariano completed the podium,

“It just hit me when I knew what I had done,” he admitted.  “I couldn't take in what had happened on the floor and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

“I knew I had another job to do - I had to head back in the training gym, refocus and start warming up for the pommel because I had one more routine to do and now I can proudly say I have finished the Olympics with a smile on my face."

Max Whitlock floor final

British gymnastics is certainly now a global force, which is strange when you consider that Smith’s bronze just eight years ago was the first Olympic gymnastics medal won since 1928.

"I’ll have a bit of time out from training now but that’s not me done,” added Whitlock

“I will be back in the gym. There is always stuff to learn in gymnastics and there is always stuff for me to learn.

“I say this after every competition it motivates me more after every major championship to go back in the gym and that is how I feel now.”

Sportsbeat 2016

Don't miss a minute of the Team GB action at Rio 2016 with our live blog

Rio 2016