Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain's Max Whitlock wins men’s all-around bronze

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Max Whitlock secures historic all-around bronze

Max Whitlock won Great Britain's first all-around gymnastics Olympics medal in 108 years as he took bronze in Rio.

Japan's Kohei Uchimura, dominant in the event since 2009, retained his title and Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev won silver after an error on his final apparatus.

Britain's Nile Wilson finished in eighth place in his first Olympics.

Whitlock's Olympic medal is only the ninth won by a British gymnast and the first in the men's all-around event since Walter Tysall's silver in 1908.

Whitlock, 23, was one of the first to go in the last of six rotations and had wait anxiously after his floor routine to see if his rivals would deny him a medal.

The British gymnast finished with a points total of 90.641, only 0.143 more than Russia's David Belyavskiy, who finished fourth.

Whitlock has now won three Olympic bronze medals after claiming two - in the team event and in the pommel horse - at London 2012.

There was also drama in the race for the gold medal as Verniaiev, who had led since the third rotation, missed out on the title by a margin of 0.101 points after hopping forward when dismounting off the high bar.

Favourite Uchimura, who also won team gold with Japan in Rio, became the first gymnast in 44 years to win back-to-back Olympic all-around titles.

His time in Rio got off to a bad start when he racked up a £3,700 mobile phone bill playing augmented reality game Pokemon Go.

"Six world championships and two Olympic wins in eight years is a great victory," said Uchimura. "I've raised the bar."

Gymnastics medallists
Bronze medallist Max Whitlock (left), gold medallist Kohei Uchimura (centre) and Oleg Verniaiev, who won silver

'I wanted to prove myself'

Whitlock has further chances for Olympic medals as he has qualified for the floor and pommel horse finals.

"My coach and I have been working so hard over the past four years," said Whitlock. "We stepped out of London 2012 and I wanted to prove myself as an all-rounder and I've done that. I feel I've completed that target now.

"Uchimura has been my idol for a long time so I'm very proud for him and Oleg Verniaiev, I've been competing with him for years. He's been producing huge scores in the last few years and I'm very honoured to come third to those two.

"That Team GB have won more medals today makes it even better. We are very strong and hopefully everyone can be proud of our achievements today."

Max Whitlock
Max Whitlock scored 15.875 on the pommel horse, the best total for any of the finalists

'He held his nerve'

Beth Tweddle, who won Olympic bronze on the uneven bars in 2012, said: "Max held his nerve. The competition was so tough throughout. All of the top gymnasts performed to their maximum.

"It went down to the last five or six routines and Max went up first, set the bar and had to sit and wait.

"Most of these lads are on their third competition in a row, so it is tough and demanding on the body. It was so close at the top of that table."

Claudia Fragapane
British gymnast Claudia Fragapane, a four-time gold medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, tweeted her support for the British pair

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