Max Whitlock MBE has won superb silver on the pommel horse at the 2018 world gymnastics championships in Doha. Max was going for his third straight pommel title and missed his hattrick in the cruellest fashion scoring the exact same total as the gold medal winner Xiao, but taking silver with the tiebreak rule counting the execution scores of the routines. Also competing in today’s finals was Becky Downie who placed 7th on bars.
Max said after:"I can't not be happy with a world silver medal but at the same time I'm slightly gutted. It's a hard emotion to try to get my head around. I'm not going to look at it as a negative. I can take a lot of confidence from how things went this week. I didn't fall off or muck up, it was a tiny error that cost me and that's the thing with gymnastics. It's all about the tiny margins that can take you off the top spot."
2015 and 2017 pommel world champion Max qualified in top spot for the final and competed last. He knew the score he had to beat was 15.166 set by Xiao of China and Max’s routine was superb, easily the most difficult of the competition. The only minor error was a slight brush off the pommel during one skill, that gave him an execution score of 8.366 and despite his total score being the same as Xiao’s, that execution total (compared to Xiaos 8.566) meant he took the silver.
Becky Downie may have qualified in 8th spot for the final but she did so knowing she had the option to up her difficulty value which she did. Unfortunately, as she was completing her nonstop action-packed routine she lost her swing and fell. She composed herself and completed her routine but her tears at the end showed how disappointed she was with her 13.333 score and 7th spot.
Tomorrow is the final day of the championships with Dom Cunningham in action in the vault final for Great Britain, all the action is live on BBC Two from 1pm. The full results from all events can be found here