Five-time Olympic medallist Max Whitlock will lead Team GB’s men’s gymnastics challenge at Tokyo 2020 after being selected for his third Games.
The double Rio 2016 champion heads a four-man team which includes debuts for world parallel bars champion Joe Fraser, British all-around winner James Hall and European medallist Giarnni Regini-Moran.
At 28, Whitlock is the oldest member of the team, but he has told Eurosport that he intends to go on as long as he can - possibly even to Los Angeles 2028. He made history in Brazil five years ago, becoming the first British gymnast to become an Olympic champion when he won gold on the floor, before following that up with a second victory on the pommel horse.
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Max Whitlock: It is an incredible achievement
“To think this will be my third Olympic Games is very surreal,” he said.
“We have a great team and I’m really looking forward to going to Tokyo, one of my favourite destinations with them.
Sport is something that is so powerful when it comes to bringing people together, creating conversation and bringing out people's passions so I’m hoping this will be an event to do just that, in a time where I believe we have never wanted that more.
“I’m always honoured to be picked to represent Team GB and hopefully we can go out there and do an amazing job.”
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The three other members of the men’s team will be making their first Olympic appearances, having proved their credentials on the world stage. Pick of the remaining bunch is 22-year-old Fraser, who became the first British world champion on the parallel bars in October 2019.
“I’m very excited to be selected for my first Olympic Games,” he said.
I’ve been training since I was five years old for this opportunity and now I just can’t wait to get out there and compete with teammates I’ve known my whole life and show the world what we can do.
“It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to get to this point and I’m excited to now get our final training in and travel to Tokyo the best prepared we’ve ever been.”
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Hall, 25, has been around the British set-up for a while and helped secure team gold for England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, before achieving silver for Great Britain at the European Championships in Glasgow that same year.
Regini-Moran, 22, is a three-time Youth Olympic Games gold medallist from 2014, but had to deal with two years out of the sport through injury. He fought back to claim European vault bronze in Basel last month.
The women’s team selection was delayed following the tragic death of Ellie and Becky Downie’s brother Josh, with Becky taking up an extra opportunity to earn selection having missed the final trial event in Cardiff. The remaining gymnasts, including the trampoline athletes, will be named early next month.
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