Max powers to finals

Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock
Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock

Max Whitlock’s Olympic hopes now rest on his own shoulders after his GB mens team just missed out on a medal on Monday.

The Hemel gymnast and his four colleagues finished fourth in an exhilarating men’s final in Rio as Japan took the gold medal.

However Max now has three further opportunities in individual finals.

He qualified for the all-round final taking place today (Wednesday) in 12th place.

But he goes into the pommel horse final on Sunday as top qualifier with 15.800 and made the floor final with a fourth best score of 15.500.

Max said afterwards: “I’m really happy. Qualification rounds are always tough, especially for me – in the past it’s been a bit nervy.

“It’s probably one of the strongest teams we’ve ever had. The 2015 World Championships where we came second in front of China really proved that.

“We need to take what we’ve done (in qualification), use the experience we’ve got and go out there and enjoy it.”

In the men’s final the GB team of Max, Lewis Smith, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Kristian Thomas performed well on the rings, traditionally one of the weaker pieces and continued in good form on the vault, parallel bars and high bar.

On the floor Max Whitlock scored a world class 15.400 as GB once again put in three strong routines before their strongest apparatus, the pommel horse.

After Brinn made a solid start, Louis went for his most difficult routine to give the team the best chance but had to count a fall.

Max finished up with a world class routine scoring 15.991 but it was not enough to earn GB a medal.

Russia took silver behind the Japanese, with China in bronze medal position just ahead of the British team.