The struggles of Max Whitlock continue since the error costs him the possibility of winning the medal of the European Championship

Max Whitlock's struggles continued at the European Championships in Glasgow on Sunday

Max Whitlock's year of frustration continued at the European Championships in Glasgow when an error in the final of the men's final cost him the chance of a medal and gave gold to his emerging rival Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland.

The double Olympic champion had hoped to recover from being defeated by McClenaghan at the Commonwealth Games of the Gold Coast, but instead found himself having to restart his routine effectively after an uncharacteristic error.

Whitlock, who at one point found himself stranded at the top of the device, scored 14.0, which at least averted the ignominy of finishing off the last of the eight competitors, but McClenaghan, 19, was a separate class as it increased. Your main score score to win with 15.3.

Max Whitlock's struggles continued at the European Championships in Glasgow on Sunday

Max Whitlock's struggles continued at the European Championships in Glasgow on Sunday

Instead, British gold came in the most unlikely form of Dominick Cunningham, whose impeccable floor routine marked 14,666 and gave him the title by established names, such as the Russian Artur Dalaloyan and Artem Dolgopyat of Israel.

Cunningham, of Birmingham, who is considered more widely as a vault specialist, expressed sympathy for Whitlock, with whom he has forged a close relationship since joining him on the elite GB team.

"Max has so much pressure on him," Cunningham said. & # 39; Never had so much pressure other than Louis [Smith] growing. It's killing him and maybe that's what you can see. "

So often without energy on the big occasion, by winning his first world title in the same Hydro arena in 2015 and his two Olympic triumphs in Rio, it seems that Whitlock is missing something as he struggles to regain momentum before Tokyo 2020.

An uncharacteristic error in the final of the knob of the men cost him the possibility of taking a medal

An uncharacteristic error in the final of the knob of the men cost him the possibility of taking a medal

An uncharacteristic error in the final of the knob of the men cost him the possibility of taking a medal

But the 23-year-old continues to cut a figure that is not at all frustrated, maintaining his confidence in the long journey towards defending his Olympic crown and denying the pressure of external influences.

"It's just one of those days again and I hope there are not many more," said Whitlock, who also missed an element in the standings and was unable to make it to the floor final that Cunningham won.

& # 39; I know that people will see it as if it were to the Commonwealth and did not get what it wanted, and I made a mistake here, but the second half of my routine was one of the cleanest I've ever competed in, and a new skill

I will not be obsessed by this. I'm on that for the long trip. I hope to go to two more Olympics and many more important championships. I will use this as motivation and I will move on to the next one. & # 39;

Whitlock's rising rival, Rhys McClenaghan, took the gold: Ireland's first gymnastics medal

Whitlock's rising rival, Rhys McClenaghan, took the gold: Ireland's first gymnastics medal

Whitlock's rising rival, Rhys McClenaghan, took the gold: Ireland's first gymnastics medal

Even for an athlete who claims to pay little attention to the routines of his rivals, the appearance of McClenaghan, whose medal was the first of any color in the history of European gymnastics, should be cause for concern.

Teen Newtonards finished 14th at last year's World Cup in Montreal, but his fortune has skyrocketed since he won his tight victory over Whitlock in the Gold Coast with a fully dominant display in Glasgow.

"It's amazing to be crowned European champion," said McClenaghan. "It has been a dream to be in that final with so many great names that I have admired since I started in gymnastics.

& # 39; Worlds are the next big goal. I said after the Commonwealth Games that my goal is to get that world title, and I meant it. I will go to Doha with all the intention of winning that gold medal. "

Courtney Tulloch won a third medal for Great Britain with bronze in the men's rings behind the world and Olympic champion Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece, and the Turkish Ibrahim Colak.

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