World Championship silver for Max Whitlock

 Max Whitlock   GBR 159

Max Whitlock has taken silver on the pommel horse at the 2013 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Antwerp. Max, the Olympic pommel bronze medallist produced the most difficult routine of the final to score him 15.633. Elsewhere Daniel Purvis narrowly missed out on a medal placing 4th on floor whilst Becky Downie and Ruby Harrold both competed in the bars final.

Max said: “I’m very happy with silver, to just miss out coming 4th in all-around and now to have a medal – I’m over the moon. It was a 7.2 start score and to be honest I’m just happy to make it through the routine, it was a little bit scruffy and there’s room for improvement but I really can’t complain with a World Championship silver medal to cap a great year for me.”

Max opted for his more difficult 7.2 routine in the pommels finals and knew had to go for broke to take on the best and earn himself a spot on the podium. He had a few form errors throughout but battled well to end with 15.633 to tie for the silver medal with Corral Barron of Mexico. It was an incredible achievement for Max in his first World Championships with pommel silver and 4th in the all-around competition he has well and truly established himself as one of the top male gymnasts in the world. It was Kameyama of Japan who eventually took the gold who had both the difficulty and execution marks to take the top spot.

Dan Purvis produced a superb floor routine as the penultimate gymnast in the World Championships final. He started with a very strong double-double and continued with strong landings with just a small pace following his whipped double Arabian finish to score him 15.400, narrowly short of a medal position. The gold medal went to Japan’s Kenzo Shirai with a huge score of 16.000.

Dan said: “Going in to it I just wanted to enjoy it and then as it progressed it thought – I can get quite close here and was really happy to nail my routine, my best of the championships. I’ve been strong all week and I’m really satisfied and proud of my World Championships. I knew that Shirai was last up so enjoyed being in third for a while but knew realistically he is at another level.”

The women’s bars final was full of well-known names and extremely experienced gymnasts. Britain’s Ruby Harrold went through another clean routine but with a lower start value than all but one of the top eight she finished in 7th with 14.33. Her consistency however at this championships and making a final in her first Worlds shows great promise. The experienced Becky Downie showed some world class skills and went for broke with a routine that included three release and catches, however extremely close to the finish she lost swing on her toe on top change and fell. She finished with 13.800 and 8th place. An unfortunate mistake for Becky but by making the final she has proved that she is up with the world’s best and will be a strong contender in the years to come. It was China’s Huang that finished with the gold with an almost flawless performance to score 15.400.

Becky said “The routine is still pretty new and in qualification it went really really well and I tried to repeat that but I didn’t quite catch my last release as I would have liked which is a shame but I’m hopeful of more bars finals to come and happy with the week in general.”

Ruby said “It was quite nice to go up last in the final and I kept my composure, I never thought I had a medal chance and just wanted to do a job for myself and the routine I’ve been working on. Me and Becky were cheering each other on and it was a great experience for me, overall I’m really happy to have made the all-around and bars final in my first World Championships.”

For the full results from the first day of apparatus finals see the FIG Antwerp microsite.

Sunday see’s Britain’s Kristian Thomas compete in the vault final.See the world's best artistic gymnasts compete on home soil at the 2013 Glasgow

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