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Beth Tweddle MBE

Britain's Greatest ever Female Gymnast

News

9 October 2017Beth Tweddle tips 'perfectionist' Max Whitlock to become an all-time great

Max Whitlock after winning a gold medal at the Rio Olympics Games

9 October 2017 7:45AM

Max Whitlock can go on to become one of the all-time greats of his sport after defending his pommel title at the World Gymnastics Championships in Montreal.

That is the opinion of three-time world champion Beth Tweddle, the only British gymnast to boast more world gold than Whitlock, who was in Canada to watch his latest triumph first-hand.

According to Tweddle, Whitlock's "perfectionist" attitude and desire to compete through at least two more Olympic cycles marks him out as someone who will be ranked among the best.

Tweddle told Press Association Sport: "Max has had an incredible career already and he's still only 24 years old.

"He's a perfectionist and he always wants to improve. Even after winning two gold medals in Rio, he wasn't happy to stick with the same routines, he went straight back to improve them.

"Max has years ahead of him and there is no reason to say that he will not one day be recognised as one of the most successful gymnasts in the history of the sport."

Whitlock's brilliant pommel routine in Montreal scored 15.441, well clear of second-placed David Belyavskiy of Russia, but the British star immediately insisted he can still improve.

Whitlock said: "I still feel like I've got a lot more I can give. I don't know when I'll be fully content, but one day when I feel like I've hit my limit I'll be happy.

"If I look back at that routine, I can see quite a lot of places where I can improve on it and make it neater and cleaner. I just need to go straight back and work on the finer details."

Whitlock was joined on the podium by 19-year-old Claudia Fragapane who completed her comeback from disappointment in Rio to take bronze in the women's floor final.

Despite stumbling on the landing for her first tumble, Fragapane stayed composed to score 13.933, behind Mai Murakami of Japan and American silver medallist Jade Carey.

It marked a strong comeback by Fragapane who fell twice and failed to reach a final in Rio, before taking time away from the sport to join the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Fragapane said: "Strictly helped me fall back in love with gymnastics because I was so crushed with what happened in Rio.

"I needed to take a break and get some breathing space and doing the programme allowed me to do that. I'm so grateful to all the people who helped me come back and achieve this bronze medal."

Source: http://www.timesandstar.co.uk/news/national/article/Beth-Tweddle-tips-perfectionist-Max-Whitlock-to-become-an-all-time-great-bbe413da-2bf6-40db-a3ae-6bb65a127312-ds b