Mighty Max makes BBC shortlist after a sensational year

Hemel Hempstead gymnastics hero Max Whitlock has been rewarded for a stunning year with a place on the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Max joins global superstars Rory McIlroy, Gareth Bale and Lewis Hamilton on the 10-person shortlist, as well as boxer Carl Froch, Winter Paralympician Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans, European 10,000 metres champion Jo Pavey, swimming sensation Adam Peaty, equestrian star Charlotte Dujardin and Winter Olympian Lizzy Yarnold.

Max Whitlock (centre) on the podium with Dan Keatings and Nile Wilson at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture (c) PA Wire/Press Association Images

Max Whitlock (centre) on the podium with Dan Keatings and Nile Wilson at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture (c) PA Wire/Press Association Images

Max, from Adeyfield, is currently enjoying a well-earned rest after a busy year which saw him compete in the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Championships in the space of four months.

Despite the heavy workload, the double Olympic bronze medallist still made sure to expand his impressive haul of medals, including pommel horse gold and team silver at the European Championships in Sofia.

No fewer than four Commonwealth medals – of which three were gold – followed in Glasgow, before he rounded things off with all-around silver at the World Championships in China last month.

“This year was amazing but also a massive learning curve for me,” said Max.

“Competitions close together is a tough job in itself and we had to learn to peak and be in top condition at the right time. We had to adapt our training to suit that.”

The 21-year-old double Olympic medallist will attend a ceremony presented by Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow on Sunday, December 14 to find out who has won the prestigious annual award.

After learning of his place on the shortlist, Max tweeted: “Absolutely honoured to be nominated for @BBCSPOTY #SPOTY2014 #VoteMax”