Whitlock won't rest after pommel gold in Sofia

25 May 2014 / 16:55

Max Whitlock has warned his rivals he’s not finished yet after beating reigning Olympic champion Krisztian Berki to gold on the pommel horse to end a fantastic European Championships for Great Britain’s male gymnasts.

Whitlock, who won two bronze medals at London 2012, topped the podium with a score of 16.166 in Sofia.

He could not defend his title on the floor – finishing fifth – but Dan Purvis made sure the medals kept flowing by scooping up the bronze.

There were also Great Britain joy on the high bar as Sam Oldham took silver, while Kristian Thomas clinched his first individual European medal in third.

And Whitlock, 21, has vowed to keep his fine form going for a long time yet as the Rio Olympics beckons in two years’ time.  

"It's an amazing achievement for me and I'm really proud,” he said. "I have been working so hard on my routine and to beat someone like Berki who is someone I really look up to in the sport is great.

"I'm not finished there though, I've always wanted to do a move that has my name on it and that's what I'll be working on in the future."

The last time Purvis won a European medal was at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and after matching the result in Sofia, admitted it had been a long time coming.

"I'm delighted with that against such a tough floor field," said Purvis.

"It [the medal] has been a long time coming and I just hope I can sustain this level heading into the Commonwealths."

And Oldham insists his high silver bar meant even more knowing Thomas would join him on the podium.

“I’m almost speechless," said Oldham. "I didn’t watch the first routines and then once I heard Fabian Hambuechan had fallen I knew if I focused a medal could be in my reach. I had to lay down a marker for the rest to follow and I did that. To stand on that podium with one of my best friends and my roommate Kris was a very special moment.”

Thomas added: “It was a pretty tense close competing so to come out with the bronze medal – my first individual European medal – is fantastic. My routine wasn’t perfect but my experience got me through, we are all so well prepared and know how to fight for the medals and that’s what I did.”

The quartet also tasted success on Saturday, joining Dan Keatings in taking silver behind Russia in the men’s team competition.

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