Max Whitlock will miss next month’s World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool after deciding to extend his time away from the sport following his second Olympic triumph in Tokyo last year.
Whitlock’s absence represents a major blow to organisers of the first World Championships to be staged in Britain since 2015 in Glasgow – coincidentally where Whitlock won the first of his three world crowns.
Whitlock, who also sat out the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games this year, remains fully committed to returning to pursue a third Olympic gold medal in Paris in 2024, the PA news agency understands.
The five-strong Great Britain men’s team comprises Joe Fraser, Jake Jarman, Giarni Regini-Moran, James Hall and Courtney Tulloch, with the women’s team expected to be announced next week.
The 23-year-old Fraser will head into the Championships fresh from a triple gold medal haul from the Europeans in Munich last month, including becoming the first British man to clinch the prestigious all-around title.
“It’s been an incredible year so far and this is the big finale,” said Fraser, who defied a fractured foot to also win three gold medals in Birmingham.
“I’m really excited to get out there with this team. I’m proud of the journey we’ve all been on this year, performing our routines under pressure and delivering our best.”
Jarman, 20, will be making his worlds debut after a spectacular year in which he made history by winning four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
“Being part of this team is very special, and after two major Championships back to back, going into this worlds together feels like a big moment,” said Jarman.