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Whitlock wins historic gymnastics double gold for Britain

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Max Whitlock made Olympic history Sunday as the first-ever British gymnastics gold medallist while there were also Rio victories for American ace Simone Biles and Russian Aliya Mustafina.

The 23-year-old Whitlock had already won bronze in the team all-around event and ended Britain‘s 116-year wait for Olympic gold in the sport with not one but two individual titles on the floor and on the pommel horse.

On the floor routine he scored 15.633 points to edge two home favourites, Brazilians Diego Hypolito and Arthur Mariano, into silver and bronze respectively.

And shortly afterwards he returned for his strongest event on the horse and led a British double ahead of Louis Smith with bronze going Alex Naddour of the United States.

"It‘s just an incredible feeling," Whitlock said. "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.

"I couldn‘t really take it in on floor. I had my job to do on pommel horse. I had to get back to the training gym and refocus."

The magnificent Biles has been hugely praised for her efforts so far in Rio and added the vault crown to the team and all-around golds she had claimed earlier in the Games.

"I feel very excited, because having gone to worlds and having two silver and a bronze (on vault at the world championships), it means a lot to me [to now win]," Biles said. "It‘s something I wanted so badly, so I just tried to keep a good mind going into vault."

Russia‘s Maria Paseka took silver and bronze went to Giulia Steingruber but they were not really serious contenders for the win.

"If you jump like Simone with your legs straight and together, and if your landings are perfect, then you can compete on her level," Paseka said. "Obviously I would love to be first, but then I look at Simone and I see that she is unreachable now."

And the gymnastics for the day ended with Mustafina edging out American Madison Kocian and Germany‘s Sophia Scheder for gold in the uneven bars.

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