Max Whitlock forced to withdraw from all-around competition at European Championships

Max Whitlock with coach Scott Hann
Max Whitlock with coach Scott Hann

Hemel Hempstead gymnastics star Max Whitlock has confirmed that he will not compete in the all-around competition at this week’s European Championships – instead focussing his energy solely on the floor and pommel events.

Max has been struggling for the past few weeks with ‘low grade’ glandular fever, and the double-Olympic medallist says that this has affected his preparation for the championships.

Speaking to British Gymnastics, Max said: “I’ve got low grade glandular fever which has left me fatigued and so it wasn’t really an option for me to compete in the all-around.

“It’s a big disappointment as it was a big target for me, but the sensible decision is just to do floor and pommel.

“Putting focus on two not six apparatus reduces stress which can trigger the fever, and also my body will only allow training for two really.”

Max was forced to withdraw from the all-around event at the British Championships earlier this month, but hopes to be on the road to recovery.

It’s a big disappointment as it was a big target for me, but the sensible decision is just to do floor and pommel.

Max Whitlock

“I found out (about the illness) about two weeks ago but before that I felt very tired; it’s hopefully getting better now but I’m taking it each day at a time and after this I will take a rest.

“The apparatus I am competing on are going well in training and I’m still trying for medals with big routine so hopefully it will still come off – but we’ll see.”

The championships begin with the women’s qualification today, followed by the men’s qualifiers tomorrow. The all-around finals for men and women are on Friday, and the apparatus finals take place over the weekend.