Max Whitlock “we’re looking at the bigger picture”

Max Whitlock of Great Britain after competing in pommel horse qualifications at the 2018 European Championships (Photo courtesy Glasgow 2018 via Getty Images)

12 August 2018 – When Max just missed out on the gold medal to Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan at the Commonwealth Games in early 2018, it set up the prospect of an exciting re-match between himself and Rhys at the European championships in Glasgow. I spoke to Max both before and after the pommel horse final – where a mistake left him in seventh place.

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Ahmet Onder – the young Turk aiming for glory

10 August 2018 – A surprise newcomer to the top tier of European gymnastics has emerged at the 2018 European championships in Glasgow. Turkey are not a team that have featured highly in gymnastics before, but they outscored some of the more experienced gymnastics nations to finish fifth after qualifications, reaching their first ever European team final. I spoke to gymnast Ahmet Onder and coach Aljaz Pegan (a former Slovenian gymnast) before the team finals.

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Battle of the rings: Eleftherios Petrounias versus Courtney Tulloch

Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece (Photo courtesy Glasgow 2018 via Getty Images)
Courtney Tulloch of Great Britain (Photo courtesy Glasgow 2018 via Getty Images)

“every year I see a new Courtney” (Elefterious)

8th August 2018 – One of the toughest apparatus for male gymnasts is undoubtedly the rings, where they must combine brute strength with poise and artistry. One gymnast reigns supreme here: Olympic, twice world and three times European champion, Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece. Aged 27, he is aiming for his fourth consecutive European rings title in Glasgow. However, he faces a strong challenge from 22-year-old Courtney Tulloch. I spoke to them both before the rings final at the 2018 European championships.

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Angelina Melnikova (Russia)

“I really love social media”

4th August 2018 – The last European team competition was held two years ago, and the women’s team title was won by Russia. Only one member of that team returned to join the 2018 team in Glasgow – 18-year-old Olympian, Angelina Melnikova. Now a senior member of the Russian team, I spoke to her the day before competition started at the 2018 European championships.

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Marta Pihan-Kulesza (Poland)

“I would have had regrets if I hadn’t tried to come back after giving birth

31 July 2018 – Having competed for many years, 31-year-old Marta made a return to gymnastics after having a baby in 2017. I spoke to her after podium training at the 2018 European championships in Glasgow.

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Irina Alexeeva (Russia)

“It took a little bit of getting used to, but then it was good”

2 August 2018 –  While her Russian team-mates at the European championships have risen up through the Russian training system, 16-year-old Irina has a different background – living and training in the United States. She is Russian and was born in Moscow, but her family moved to Texas, USA, when she was seven years old. I talked to her before competition began in Glasgow. (UPDATED)

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Dan Purvis (Great Britain & Scotland)

“When I didn’t make the team for Rio, it was a bit of a shock”

31 March 2018 – 2012 Olympian Dan Purvis had to dig deep to keep motivated after being left off the British team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. But the prospect of leading the Scottish team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games spurred him on. We spoke just before the Games began. (UPDATED)

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Nile Wilson (Great Britain & England)

“We are creating art with our bodies”

31 March 2018 –In January 2013 four junior British male gymnasts travelled to Sydney to compete in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. They were Dominick Cunningham, James Hall, Courtney Tulloch and Nile Wilson. Five years later, all four returned to Australia, representing England at the Commonwealth Games alongside teammate Max Whitlock. I spoke to Nile Wilson just before competition began.

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Ellie Black (Canada)

“Winning the silver all-around medal at worlds was incredible”

30 March 2018 –  Ellie Black has been a member of the Canadian women’s team for some years now, having competed at two Olympic Games (2012 and 2016) and several world championships. Her standout moment was winning the all-around silver medal at the 2017 world championships in Montreal. She also won five medals at the 2015 Pan American Games, three of them gold, including the all-around title – the first to be won by a gymnast not from the United States at this event since 1983. We caught up with her in Australia just before the Commonwealth games started.

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Max Whitlock (Great Britain & England)

“It’s my dream to get my name in the code of points”

29 March 2018 –  Representing England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, double Olympic champion Max Whitlock decided just to compete on his two specialist events, floor and pommel horse. I spoke to him before the competition started.

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