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From Olympic gongs to Royal ones: Whitlock picks up MBE from the Queen

Max Whitlock received his MBE from the Queen

One of the region's athletes had a rather special appointment earlier today.

Essex gymnast Max Whitlock received his MBE from the Queen a little earlier in recognition for his double Olympic gold winning success during last year's Rio Games, but he admitted he was a little nervous to meet the monarch, though she did put him at ease.

"She was really,really nice actually. She said she watched and she was a fan of gymnastics and the stuff we do looked impossible, which was really good to hear!

She had actually recognised the rise of gymnastics, which, for us is brilliant, it's one of the things we have tried to do and for the Queen to recognise it mean's it has done pretty well."

– Max Whitlock

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Whitlock wins first senior individual medal

Max Whitlock Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Hertfordshire's Max Whitlock has won his first senior individual European Championships medal after he claimed silver in today's all-around competition in Moscow.

The 20-year-old British champion who competes for South Essex Gymnastics club scored a total of 89.106 across the six pieces of apparatus to finish narrowly behind Russian David Belyavskiy, with Oleg Verniaiev of Ukraine in bronze.

Crowds cheer returning Olympic hero

The double Olympic medal winner Max Whitlock was greeted by cheering crowds as he returned to his Essex raining base.

The Hemel Hempstead gymnast returned to the South Essex Gymnastics Club in Basildon to show off his two bronze medals.

Max, who won in both the team gymnastics event and in the individual pommel horse, said his achievements were still sinking in.

Olympic medallist to get civic gong

Whitlock: honoured by home town Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Double Olympic medal winner Max Whitlock is to have his achievements celebrated by his home town.

The gymnast who won two bronze medals at London 2012 is to be presented with a gift at a special reception in Hemel Hempstead

The presentation will take place this weekend at the town's Civic Centre.

The 19-year-old, from Hemel Hempstead, Herts, took the first British men's gymnastics team medal since 1912 alongside Louis Smith, 23, Sam Oldham, 19, Daniel Purvis, 21, and Kristian Thomas, 23 when they claimed bronze on July 30.

Whitlock, who still lives in Hemel Hempstead, then went on to win Olympic bronze in the men's pommel horse, six days later.

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