Double Olympic bronze medallist Max Whitlock admitted winning all-around silver at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships capped off a rollercoaster of emotions in Nanning.
Whitlock, gold medallist in both the all-around and floor at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, had initially failed to qualify for any of the individual finals after struggling in the qualification rounds in China.
But after helping Great Britain’s men to a best-ever fourth-placed finish in the team final, the 21-year-old found himself called into the all-around final when teammate Nile Wilson withdrew due a wrist injury.
And the double Olympic bronze medallist made sure to take his chance, opening up with 16.000 on the pommel to put him in first place after the first round of apparatus.
He was second after three of the six apparatus and then held his nerve with his final floor routine to finish with an overall score of 90.473 for silver behind Kohei Uchimura of Japan who took his fifth straight world all-around title.
It meant Whitlock equalled Britain’s best ever all-around result achieved by Daniel Keatings in 2009 and also added to the world pommel silver he won in Antwerp last year.
“The whole trip has been a rollercoaster,” said Whitlock, who saw teammate Dan Purvis finish with a score of 15.133 on floor to take 11th place with 87.699 overall.
“I struggled in qualification and then only learnt on Wednesday that I was in the final as Nile withdrew.
“I really can't believe I’m now standing with the world silver. I think I went out and competed with no pressure, from starting on pommel I nailed my best routine of the week and that set me off.
“To compete alongside my idol Uchimura is a huge honour and to be on the medal podium with him is very special. It’s been a long year of competitions and this is just unbelievable.”
© Sportsbeat 2014