Max Whitlock completed the greatest day in the history of British gymnastics when he swivelled to the top of the podium with a smooth and silky pommel horse performance to earn his second gold.
Less than two hours after he had ended Great Britain's 120-year wait for an Olympic gymnastics title, the 23-year-old did it again, posting a score of 15.966 in his favourite event.
Louis Smith completed a glorious one-two for Great Britain, repeating his feat of London 2012 by taking the silver. For a while, it looked as if his score of 15.833 would be enough for gold, and he spent much of the next 15 minutes kneeling on the floor, unable to look at the scoreboard as he waited to see if anyone would leapfrog him. In the end it was his team-mate who did. Completing the podium was the USA’s Alex Naddour, who took the bronze.
“It's just an incredible feeling,” said Whitlock on winning two gold medals. “All the gymnasts out there know how much work goes into it. You get one minute to show what you've been working on for the last however many years.
And he revealed that he didn’t have any time to take in the historic nature of his first gold, given he was almost immediately called into action in the pommel horse final: I had my job to do on pommel horse. I had to get back to the training gym and refocus,” he explained. “It was tough, especially as I didn't watch any of the floor routines that were before or after me. When my coach said what I’d done, it hit me literally like a ton of bricks.”
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