Max Whitlock admitted he was terrified at the prospect of letting his fans down at Tokyo 2020, but after successfully defending his Olympic title the GB athlete is pushing ahead with plans to unveil his own skill.
The gymnastic star put in a phenomenal performance on the pommel horse to claim gold and Whitlock was on the Eurosport Cube with Reshmin Chowdhury to talk through his Olympic triumph and look ahead to the future.
Whitlock now has five individual Olympic medals to his name and said it was a “surreal” experience to join some of GB’s greatest athletes.
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“I always like to go into competitions with the potential to regain the title,” he said on the Cube.
I never expect medals. You can’t expect that in this sport, margins are so, so close. When I finished that routine I knew it was a good one.
“Throughout my whole preparation, that was probably the best routine I’ve done.

'Yes!' - Whitlock's 'beautiful' routine on pommel horse earns GB star gold

“That was highest difficulty routine I’ve ever competed, I kind of knew that actually there was nothing more I could do. Me and Scott sat there and I thought, ‘You know if somebody beats me they deserve it. They’ll be the better man, because I couldn’t have done anymore’.
“I had to be happy with my performance and I was. It was a waiting game. It’s the first time I’ve watched the pommel horse final live. I never usually watch.
“I usually have to stay in my zone. Watching everybody is pretty intense. To come out on top was incredible especially in that field of gymnasts.”
“It’s a crazy feeling,” he continued.
Surreal. These are absolute legends who inspired me on my journey. I’ve learned retaining titles is actually a million times harder than chasing.
"I’ve been a youngster chasing it and I can tell you it’s ten times easier than what it is now.

'That's the most nervous I've ever been' - Whitlock on winning routine

“It feels ridiculous that I’m up there in those medal tally stats. With my sixth Olympic medal, that’s a very, very surreal moment for me.”
Whitlock is now looking ahead to Paris 2024, which he intends to compete in, and the Londoner is planning to unveil the ‘Whitlock’ skill in the near future.
The Brit was unable to bring his family and young daughter Willow to Tokyo due to coronavirus restrictions but believes Paris could be a special moment for his nearest and dearest.
“I feel I’ve disappointed people down the years, when’s it coming? It’s a dream of mine to get my own skill in gymnastics,” Whitlock said.
It would be called the Whitlock and actually if I did it, completed it, it would be the hardest skill ever done on pommel horse.
“The first of its kind. But it’ll take time. Definitely now is the time for a break.”
“It’s a huge motivation for me to continue,” he added.
“I wanted to have Willow here and it’s unfortunate she couldn’t come out to Japan.
“Paris is just round the corner. I think she’ll love it. Hopefully she’ll be loving gymnastics then and be really into it.”
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