Max Whitlock believes he learned a priceless lesson at last year’s gymnastics World Championships that can propel him to success in Rio 2016.
The double OIympic bronze medallist had a whirlwind 2014 that started with European pommel horse gold, was followed by five Commonwealth medals, and culminated in world all-around silver in Nanning.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the 22-year-old – who failed to qualify for any world individual final in China – but was given a lifeline when Great Britain teammate Nile Wilson was forced to withdraw with a wrist injury.
That reprieve saw Whitlock head into the all-around final completely relaxed and lifted the weight of expectation from his shoulders.
And he says that experience will be one that can help him as he targets top spot on the podium at Rio 2016.
“That was a big learning curve for me and one that will help me going forward and something I will take with me to Rio,” he said.
“I had to get it into my head that I’d finished and I wouldn’t come home with what I wanted.
“But I was lucky enough to get a second chance and for me it was a massive learning curve because I went into that second competition completely relaxed and with no pressure.
“We aren’t too far away from the Olympics now and it’s coming around so fast that it’s crazy.
“Sometimes you’re in the gym and you think I’ve got a bit of time but you haven’t and you have to push every day.
“At the moment I’m pushing on and trying to learn new skills for competitions this year and just take it step by step on the road to Rio.”
© Sportsbeat 2015