Olympic champion Max Whitlock heading to World Championships with 'big upgrades'

Max Whitlock has vowed to return better than ever at the World Championships in Montreal next month
Max Whitlock has vowed to return better than ever at the World Championships in Montreal next month
13 September 2017 3:45PM

Max Whitlock is planning an explosive return to action at the World Championships in Montreal next month with a pair of new routines he vows will leave his Olympic heroics in the shade.

The 24-year-old has taken time out from major competition since his historic success in Rio, where he won gold medals in both the pommel and floor apparatus.

But besides a brief break to get married, Whitlock has spent months shut away in his South Essex club in Basildon working on upgrading those winning performances in order to keep his rivals at bay.

Whitlock told Press Association Sport: "I didn't just want to come back with the same routines I had in Rio – the challenge was to come back with something bigger and better.

"I have been focusing entirely on the floor and the pommel because I felt those were the pieces I could improve on and I will be going into the Worlds with big, big upgrades.

"For example, I have five tumbles in my floor routine and I have upgraded four of them to include either another somersault or another twist.

"It is a big difference and a huge challenge. Both of my new routines are very tough but I'm excited because it's my first big event since Rio and I'm bringing new stuff to the world stage."

Whitlock is set to form part of a 10-strong Great Britain squad for the World Championships, which begin on October 2, with the team due to be officially unveiled next Tuesday.

He will be joined by Olympic bronze medallists Nile Wilson and Amy Tinkler as the team bids to fulfil the difficult challenge of emulating its extraordinary, seven-medal success in Rio.

Despite becoming the first British gymnast to stand on top of an Olympic podium, Whitlock insists he is far from finished – and his brief break left him wholly unaffected by the usual post-Games blues.

He added: "Getting those two gold medals in Rio acted as a massive, massive motivation for me to go on and achieve even more.

"I look at legends like Mo Farah and Usain Bolt and how they've gone out and got those golds, then they've come back and done it again and again – how many people can say that?

"I love the sport and I can't see why I would want stop seeking improvement. Every athlete has to aim for the best they can possibly be."