Max Whitlock’s British Championships illness diagnosed as ‘low-grade’ glandular fever

Max Whitlock, centre, won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year. Picture (c) PA Wire/Press Association Images
Max Whitlock, centre, won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year. Picture (c) PA Wire/Press Association Images

Max Whitlock has revealed that the mystery illness which prevented him from defending his all-round title at the British Gymnastics Championships at the weekend was, in fact, a mild case of glandular fever.

Hemel Hempstead hero Max had gone into the competition with hopes of retaining the crown he won 12 months ago, but instead it was his Great Britain team-mate Daniel Purvis who took the title.

Max tweeted yesterday: “Found out today that I have low-grade glandular fever; at least I know why I wasn’t 100 per cent.

“Looking forward to getting back ASAP.”

There was some consolation for Max, however, as he returned home with a pommel horse silver medal, despite suffering a fall.

Louis Smith MBE took the title – looking impressive and confident on his sole piece of apparatus to take the crown – while Max and Sam Oldham tied for silver.

After the event Max tweeted: “Obviously very gutted that I couldn’t do all six pieces this comp but my body doesn’t feel 100%.

“For that reason it wasn’t right for me to do that. I’m happy with what I did based on my training.”

Max will be hoping to recover fully in time for the next major tournament of the year – the European Championships.