Whitlock wins two historic gymnastics gold medals as Smith takes silver
Gymnastics Artistic

Whitlock wins two historic gymnastics gold medals as Smith takes silver

14 August 2016 / 20:29

Max Whitlock became the first ever British gymnast to win Olympic gold medals after stunning victories in the men's floor and pommel horse finals at Rio 2016 while he was joined on the podium in the latter event by compatriot Louis Smith, who took silver.

On the greatest day in British gymnastics history, Whitlock won the first of three Team GB gymnastics medals in the session with the men’s floor as he put in a near flawless routine to earn a score of 15.633.

The 23 year old then watched on as all of his rivals failed to get close to him, including compatriot Kristen Thomas who finished seventh.

Just over an hour later Whitlock mastered the pommel horse, the event in which he is World Champion, to claim a score of 15.966 points.

It bettered Smith’s score of 15.833 but no other athletes came close to the duo meaning that they shared the two top spots on the podium together – with Smith repeating his silver medal triumph from London 2012.

Earlier at Rio 2016, Whitlock had already made history as he won Team GB’s first all-around gymnastics Olympics medal in 108 years when he took bronze but he has continued to rewrite the record books.

Whitlock also becomes the most decorated British Olympic gymnast ever, ahead of Smith, with five medal following his three podium spots at Rio 2016 and two bronze medals at London 2012.

“It was quite difficult to come back for the second event," he said. I couldn’t take it what I had just done in the floor.

“That is history which is incredible and makes it even more special for me.

“I went back into the training gym and refocused and went out to deliver again.

“This has outdone all of my expectations and I am proud to say I have made history.

“The Olympic Games only come around once every four years and that is what makes it so special.

“It was always going to be tough for me to medal on the floor and I knew I had to go for it so I’m delighted I managed to pull out one of my big scores.

“I just take things as they come and that is why I could focus on the pommel horse. The potential has always been there in the pommel horse but the floor was different and gold didn’t seem possible so I am so pleased. 

“I’ll have a bit of time out but that’s not me done by any stretch”

Smith added that he would have loved to of taken the gold but was pleased for Whitlock.

“I would have loved to have won the gold medal," said Smith. "What British athlete wouldn’t want to win the Olympic gold medal?

“However I would rather lose to Max than anyone else. The gold is coming back to Britain.

“What a legacy Max is already building. It is bad for me but good for the sport and that is how it should be.

“I have always played catch up to Max since I came back to the sport following my break after London 2012. The evolution of sport is that the next generation pushes it and takes it to new levels.

“It was tough but at the same time I am so proud of what I have done.

“I’m not just doing this for myself. There are so many who have helped me and believed in me and that is why I couldn’t hold back the tears.”

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