England’s Max Whitlock continued his dominance of the Commonwealth Games artistic gymnastics competitions with a world class display to take gold in the men’s all-around final.
Max is one of Britain’s greats and this performance will no doubt have resonated around the gymnastics world. His score of 90.631 is only achievable by a select handful of gymnasts as he demonstrated his ability on all apparatus to take the Commonwealth crown.
Dan Keatings of Scotland took the silver medal with another superb display of skills across the apparatus and again a performance worthy of any major championships scoring a mighty 88.298 points. England’s Nile Wilson, in his first competition as a senior gymnast was equally impressive, the 18 year old fighting of Olympian Dan Purvis to take the bronze with his consistent outstanding routines, particularly on parallel and high bars.
Max described his emotions afterwards:“Since London 2012 the all-around has been the target for me and to pull it all off today has been incredible. I wasn’t paying much attention to the scores I just wanted to do my job out there. I can’t explain the feeling, it’s crazy, before the final routine (high bar) I was so nervous, so for everything to come together and to stick my final landing like I did is unreal!”
Dan Keatings was delighted to have proved himself once more in the all-around competition “I haven’t competed in a major all-around event for a long time and I’m very proud to have performed so well and won this medal for Scotland. There were times when I doubted if I’d ever be back on all six pieces contending for medals and this result proves I’m definitely back and that every training session was absolutely worth it, I’m so, so happy.”
Nile Wilson described how he handled the pressure to become the youngest ever Commonwealth Games all-around male medal winner: “I just tried to stay as calm as possible, feed of the crowd and stay focussed on each routine, competing alongside my teammates definitely helps. The move from junior to senior level is a big one but I think it helped me not having too much expectation coming in to these Games, I could compete a bit more freely and it paid off. The parallel bars were the key and with that score I’m hoping I can also get a medal in the apparatus final. Overall I couldn’t be more proud.”
The race for the medals..
The men’s all-around final sees the greatest overall gymnasts, having qualified with top combined scores over the six pieces of men’s apparatus, against each other to crown the ultimate gymnastics champion.
The top qualifiers and likely medal contenders were all competing in the same group beginning on floor. Dan Purvis started the competition with a superb powerful and well controlled routine to set the standard. England’s Max Whitlock was outstanding in qualification, leading his team to gold and his form continued on floor with a tumbling twisting master class to take an early lead in the rankings.
Daniel Keatings highly difficult pommel routine was greeted with huge cheers from the appreciative crowd while Max was sublime, top scoring again and also putting down yet another marker for the highly anticipated pommel horse final yet to come. Dan Purvis unfortunately had a fall on while 2014 European junior champion Nile Wilson continued his solid start.
Keatings impressive rings routine kept the pressure on in the race for gold whilst Nile Wilson also produced a brilliant clean routine to stay firmly in the medal hunt along with Dan Purvis. Max again performed superbly , displaying his vast great range of skills keeping the pattern of top scores going and forging an even bigger lead at the top of the standings at half way.
On vault Nile Wilson excelled to push above Dan Purvis while Max went for a huge triple twisting vault and had to take a big step on landing to steady himself but still scored well. Dan Keatings with a solid vault to keep in silver.
Max’s parallel bars was a superb return to top form, the support from his GBR teammates could be heard mid-routine demonstrating how close the bond is between all the competing nations. Dan Purvis absolutely nailed his landing from the bars much to the delight of the home crowd with Keatings also competing well with a difficult well controlled performance. Nile Wilson had the eyes of the whole crowd on him and loved every second as he executed one of the routines of the championships to put himself clear of Dan Purvis and put pressure on Keatings for silver.
On high bar all the medal contenders had to find the balance between big skills and minimal errors. Dan Purvis began strongly to set the tone and put pressure on those following, completing his event with a score of 84.865 for 4th place. Dan Keatings absolutely nailed his routine, great quick hand skills to flick around the bar and a brilliant dismount to deafening cheers giving him a terrific total of 88.298 points and silver. Nile Wilson showed outstanding composure in his routine, his years as a top junior clearly counting as he brought his skills seamlessly to the senior forum and showed no sign of nerves to complete his error free competition and score 87.965 points for the bronze. That just left Max to compete and finish off his event in the same way he started with a faultless, skilful and brilliantly executed high bar routine to give him the gold.
Gold- Max Whitlock (ENG) Floor 15.466 Pommel 15.866 Rings 14.733 Vault 14.500 Parallel Bars 14.966 High Bar 15.100 Total 90.631
Silver- Dan Keatings (SCO) Floor 14.800 Pommel 15.533 Rings 14.100 Vault 14.333 Parallel Bars 14.766 High Bar 14.766 Total 88.298
Bronze- Nile Wilson (ENG) Floor 14.600 Pommel 13.833 Rings 14.633 Vault 14.700 Parallel Bars 15.433 High Bar 14.766 Total 87.965
Scotland’s Frank Baines counted a couple of costly errors in his performance but will gain great experience in his major senior championships debut as he looks further ahead in his Great Britain career, he scored 82.356 all-around to place in 6th. Clinton Purnell of Wales had a superb all-around performance joining Frank and competing in the same group as the medal contenders, revelling in the limelight for 82.298 points and 7th.
Iwan Mephan and Harry Owen of Wales good competitions, some fine displays and some small errors. Iwan was the top performer with good consistency across the six apparatus taking him to an all-around total of 77.631 for 13th with Harry placing 20th with a score of 76.441.