Whitlock retains British title for SEGC

MAX WHITLOCK was delighted to retain his British all-around title in front of a packed crowd at Liverpool’s Echo Arena.

The 21-year-old star also added two Masters golds on floor and rings to cap another memorable weekend for South Essex Gymnastics Club.

Whitlock recovered from small errors on the pommel and high bar to post a score of 89.000 after six rotations in the all-around competition on Saturday to underline his credentials as the leading male gymnast in the country.

It was the perfect warm-up for his pursuit of European, Commonwealth and World Championship honours this year.

And afterwards he tweeted to his 30,000 @MaxWhitlock1 followers: “Thanks everyone for your messages again today. Very happy with the whole British Championships weekend.”

There were also top-10 all-around finishes from South Essex’s Anthony Wise and Reiss Beckford, who both hope to have a breakthrough year for the national team.

Wise finsihed in a very impressive seventh place with 83.350, and Beckford was ninth with 81.450.

And South Essex continued to demonstrate its strength in depth in the under-18s category, where the club took all-around silver and bronze.

Rising star Brinn Bevan took silver (82.650) behind champion Nile Wilson, and South Essex’s Jay Thompson claimed the bronze with 82.450.

Bevan was also third on the floor and second on rings, parallel bars and high bar, while Thompson was second on floor and third on pommel, rings and parallel bars.

In the Masters section on Sunday, Whitlock quickly returned to the top of the podium with his signature breakdance flares earning him 15.600 and gold on the floor.

And he was joined on the podium by club-mate Beckford, whose 14.566 was enough for joint bronze.

Whitlock added a silver on the pommel (15.966) behind European champion Dan Keatings and ahead of Olympic silver medalist Louis Smith.

A gold on the rings with a score of 14.933 was a real cheery on the cake for the Whitlock, who is on target to reach the overall 90 plus score mark he is aiming for this season.

Whitlock’s medal haul was finally completed with another bronze (15.033) on the parallel bars.