Whitehead says her bronze medal is the greatest achievement of her career to date. (AAP: Tracey Nearmy)
Australia’s Emily Whitehead and Georgia Godwin have added two bronze medals to Australia’s tally after stunning showings in their individual routines.
Whitehead, just 17, came in with a superb pair of runs in the vault event to clinch third place, while Godwin, 20, who also competed in the vault, made the podium in the uneven bars.
For Whitehead, bronze came as a result of a new focus in 2018, with her coach putting her onto a brand new vault routine, which she executed in her second run to secure bronze.
“Vault was definitely one that I decided that I was going to put a lot of focus on, I’ve just started [working on] my second vault, so it’s pretty new,” she told the ABC.
“It was a decision my coach made and he said it would help me have the best chance to get into the team. And it did. Now it’s paid off.
“It is the start of something amazing, I believe. I can’t wait to go back in the gym and work on some more difficulty and become more competitive all over, not just the vault.”
Coupled with her role in Australia’s bronze-medal effort in the women’s artistic team event, Whitehead says it’s the greatest achievement of her career to date.
“It is crazy, I absolutely love it. I love competing in front of everyone and I enjoyed competing in front of so many people,” she said.
For Godwin — who finished in front of fourth-placed compatriot Georgia Rose-Brown — bronze in the uneven bars added to a brilliant Commonwealth Games so far, having been part of the artistic team bronze as well as claiming silver in the individual all-round routine.
“It’s a great way to finish my Commonwealth Games campaign,” she said.
“I didn’t really expect to come away with a medal on uneven bars, but it’s a nice surprise. I have done all the hard work and routines in the last few weeks so I just wanted to get out there with clean routines and go from there.”
Australia’s Christopher Remkes and Michael Tone finished sixth and seventh respectively.
No Magic from Max as Olympic double champ settles for silver
Whitlock decided not to unveil his new move, which he hopes will be named after him. (Reuters: David Gray)
Meanwhile, English superstar Max Whitlock decided to keep his yet-to-be-unveiled signature move in the locker, having to settle for silver on the pommel horse.
Whitlock effectively dead-heated with Northern Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan, but was adjudged as second-place after McClenaghan scored higher in execution.
The hype surrounding Whitlock — Olympic gold medallist in both the floor and pommel horse routines, and Commonwealth champion on the floor — came amid talk that he was working on a new signature move that could be one of the most difficult ever attempted.
Clearly, it was a case of not being ready in time for the Gold Coast, as he mixed up circles with two handstands, a pirouette and flare, registering at a higher difficulty than McClenaghan, but not quite the requisite execution.
“Pommel was clean, floor was a bit rough, but it’s what happens,” he said.
“Mistakes happen. I just have to go back, work even harder and take the positives out of this, learn what I can and come back stronger.”
New signature move still under wraps
Whitlock took a break from competition last year, during which he worked on two new moves on the pommel horse, telling media in 2017 that it was an ambition of his to have a move named after him.
To have a move named after you, it has to be unveiled in a major competition.
The move apparently involves an airflare — an advanced move in the floor routine but never used on the pommel horse — and involves an incredible degree of risk.
“It involves flipping in mid air and releasing both hands at the same time from the pommel, which no one does right now,” he told the UK’s Independent in 2017.
“And that’s difficult because the pommel’s not the biggest of surfaces, it’s got handles, and there’s a bit of a drop to the ground.
“So if you spin in the air, then mess up the landing, you could easily hit your face on the pommel.”
There was no faceplant for the Englishman, but neither was there a sizzling run on day four like the kind he enjoyed in Rio two years ago.
Beaming Cypriot shocks the floor with stellar routine
Earlier, Whitlock failed to reach the podium in the floor exercise, finishing sixth in the afternoon’s first event in Coomera.
Whitlock was given all the billing as the final starter, with Canada’s Scott Morgan having set the benchmark for much of the exercise until Cyprus’s Marios Georgiou came from the clouds with an exemplary run to surge into the gold medal place.
The English star endured an uncomfortable start to his routine with several small stumbles, before settling midway through.
His airflare was showcased on the floor to make up ground in the second half of the exercise — but it ultimately only did enough to finish sixth in the standings.
It was a fair drop from his previous showings on the big stage, having won Commonwealth and Olympic gold in the routine in 2014 and 2016.
But the Commonwealth’s new star, Cyprus’s beaming Georgiou, could not hide his joy upon completing a sensational exercise where he traded difficulty for superior execution, edging him past Canada’s Morgan as the penultimate athlete.
“I am really happy but I feel strange. In the end, I didn’t imagine taking the gold medal as I am competing with many Olympians and it feels strange to win,” Georgiou said.
“Max will be Max. He’s got a big name and I am a fan of him. He’s a legend.”