BBC Sports Personality 2014 contender: Max Whitlock

Gymnast Max Whitlock

"He has strength, power and balance - he's got the whole package" - former gymnastics world champion Beth Tweddle on Max Whitlock.

Year in a nutshell

  • Picked up a host of medals from the World, European and British Championships, and at the Commonwealth Games
  • Equalled the best all-around finish by a Briton at a World Championship, taking silver in Nanning, China
  • Took gold at the European Championships on the pommel horse
  • Won three golds, a silver and a bronze at the Commonwealths
Max Whitlock

The Inside track: Max Whitlock

Beth Tweddle, three-time world champion, gives her thoughts on 21-year-old Whitlock.

"Max is known as a specialist on the floor and pommel but he has all-round ability too - he's got the whole package," Tweddle said.

"In training he is so focused. He knows what he needs to do, but has a great relationship with his coach and has fun with it.

"He loves gymnastics, enjoys what he does and has strength, power and balance - there are so many different aspects he has to work on.

Sports Personality profile: Max Whitlock

"He's a very determined, successful young lad. Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura, who beat him to world gold, is his idol. He looks at him and thinks, 'how can I improve to be like him?'.

"The experience of not qualifying in the world all-around final and then gaining a reprieve has taught him a lot.

"Myself and (triple Olympic medallist) Louis Smith have been around a while and been on things like Dancing On Ice and Strictly, but a cabbie asked me the other day about Max Whitlock.

"It was so nice to hear a British gymnast's name being mentioned off the cuff like that. His profile has really shot up and he's doing Britain proud."

Four facts about Max Whitlock
Whitlock, who was born in Hemel Hempstead and trains at the South Essex club, won world silver after initially missing out on a place in the all-around final. He bounced back when he qualified after team-mate Nile Wilson withdrew through injury.Whitlock and coach Scott Hann have a plan for the Olympics in Rio, which could include a "risky" new move on the pommel horse. They will delay a decision on whether to introduce what may become known as "The Whitlock" until nearer 2016.
In the men's all-around event, gymnasts compete on six apparatus - vault, floor, pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar.The gymnast is hoping to become the first British athlete to win an Olympic all-around gymnastics medal since Walter Tysall in 1908.

Beth Tweddle was speaking to BBC Sport's Frank Keogh

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