Max Whitlock is determined to defend his title when the British Gymnastics Championships return to Liverpool’s Echo Arena this week as he aims to start his 2015 with a bang.
Whitlock enjoyed a 2014 to remember as he claimed the British title, European pommel horse gold, three Commonwealth Games crowns and the World Championship all-around silver medal.
It was Japan’s London 2012 all-around gold medallist Kohei Uchimura that got the better of Whitlock at last year’s World Championships.
But with another World Championships taking place this year in Glasgow, Whitlock is determined to finish top of the pile with the 2016 Rio Olympics fast approaching.
The Road to Rio starts with the 2015 British Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool from March 27-29, and Whitlock is eager to get off to the best possible start.
“The British Championships is hugely important to me and a competition I take very seriously,” said Whitlock, who won pommel horse and team bronze at London 2012.
“It’s vital to start the season off with a good performance and set a marker for the year. Winning the title in 2014 was very special for me, the event is always a lot of fun, the crowd are fantastic and all of the gymnasts are determined to fight for the titles.
“Last year’s World Championships was a bit of a roller coaster for me but ultimately a huge learning experience. It was an opportunity to really see where I stood in the world and asses what I need to do to be better than the rest.
“Since then I’ve worked to improve my skills across the board but particularly on rings, parallel bars and high bar where I know I can make up ground. I’m looking forward to showing everyone what I’ve been working on in Liverpool.
“2015 is going to be massive year ending, we hope, with a British team medal at the World Championships in Glasgow and sealing our place in Rio.
“The British Championships is the first aim though and there isn’t much tougher competition than my own teammates and friends! The British team is massively strong and the competition at the British will be fantastic.”
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