Max Whitlock wins silver at World Gymnastics Championships

By Ollie WilliamsBBC Olympic sports reporter in Antwerp
Max Whitlock wins silver at World Gymnastics Championships

Great Britain's Max Whitlock had to settle for a silver medal in the men's pommel horse World Championships final.

Whitlock - a double Olympic bronze medallist in 2012 - saw his score of 15.633 beaten by the 15.833 of Japan's Kohei Kameyama in Antwerp.

The 20-year-old from Hemel Hempstead was looking to become Britain's first male gymnastics world champion.

He told BBC Sport: "I am really happy with that, my routine was a big risk but to come out with a medal is good."

Dan Purvis, the 2010 world bronze medallist in the floor event, narrowly missed repeating the feat as he came fourth.

Japan's Kenzo Shirai, 17, became the first athlete to perform a quadruple twist at a major event as he won gold.

Purvis fourth as Shirai dazzles

Shirai's full routine included some two dozen twists. He kept the groundbreaking quadruple for last to score 16.000 for victory.

Fellow countryman Kohei Uchimura, the all-around champion, took bronze with 15.500 behind American Jacob Dalton (15.600), while Purvis scored 15.400.

The 22-year-old from Liverpool said: "Going into it I just wanted to enjoy it and then, as it progressed, I thought, 'I can get quite close here'.

"I've been strong all week and I'm really satisfied and proud of my World Championships."

Whitlock had only tried his upgraded pommel-horse routine in competition once before - during Thursday's all-around final - and was relieved to come through it without falling.

"There were bits in the routine where I thought I could have fallen off but overall I am happy," he said.

"It was a little bit scruffy and there's room for improvement but I really can't complain with a World Championships silver medal to cap a great year for me."

Kameyama, who had been seventh in qualifying, was the surprise winner of a final which took place without world and Olympic champion Krisztian Berki, who had fallen from the apparatus in qualifying. GB's European champion Daniel Keatings also suffered the same fate.

Whitlock's score left him tied with Mexico's Daniel Corral Barron for second place with no bronze medal awarded, unlike the Olympics, where the rules dictate a gymnast's execution score must be used as a tie-breaker.

China's Huang Huidan won an uneven bars final which featured only two of the London 2012 Olympic line-up, while Britain's Ruby Harrold and Rebecca Downie finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Huang's 15.400 took her past all-around silver medallist Kyla Ross of the United States. Harrold scored 14.333 and Downie a frustrating 13.800, falling in the final stages of what had otherwise been an exceptional routine.

Olympic silver medallist McKayla Maroney successfully defended her vault world title with a score of 15.724, edging out American compatriot and all-around champion Simone Biles (15.595).

And Olympic rings champion Arthur Zanetti, of Brazil, won his first world title on the apparatus with a score of 15.800, ahead of Russia's Aleksandr Balandin.

Kristian Thomas will be the final Briton to compete in the event when he takes part in Sunday's vault final.

The men's parallel bars and high bar titles will also be decided, alongside the women's beam and floor competitions.

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