Max Whitlock drops all-around from Europeans schedule

Max Whitlock
Max Whitlock will concentrate on the pommel horse and floor events after previously winning European titles in those disciplines in 2013 and 2014
Artistic Gymnastics European Championships
Dates: 15-19 April Venue: Montpellier, France
BBC coverage: Friday, 17 April 13:00-15:00 BST on BBC Two and 17:30-20:15 BST on Red Button. Saturday, 18 April 13:00-15:30 BST on BBC One (14:20 in Scotland). Sunday, 19 April 13:30-16:00 BST on BBC Two.

Max Whitlock has confirmed he will not compete for the all-around title at the European Gymnastics Championships because of the effects of low-grade glandular fever.

The world silver medallist will instead focus on individual apparatus honours in the pommel horse and floor.

"For me it's very gutting. The all-around was a big target of mine," Whitlock told BBC Sport in Montpellier.

"My body will only allow me to do two pieces at the moment."

Whitlock took European all-around silver in 2013, and has won the British all-around title in 2013 and 2014.

This year, he did not defend that title because of the illness.

"I found out about a week or two before I came out here around the English Championships," he said.

"I just felt so tired all the time and it's just been hard to get through all my routines.

"I'm putting all my focus in two pieces to reduce the stress.

"I'm still trying big routines on those pieces so, hopefully, I can do them like I have been in training and come through clean."

The 22-year-old says he does not have an indication as to when he might be fully clear of the virus.

"I think we've just got to look at it each day as it comes and that's what I've been doing in this European build-up.

"I need some rest. I've been pushing through this one and after the Europeans will be a good time to take it so I can be back as soon as possible."

Dan Purvis and Sam Oldham will be Great Britain's two contenders in the all-around competition in Montpellier.

Men's qualifying is on Thursday with the final on Friday, while apparatus finals are spread over Saturday and Sunday.

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