Perspective gives Wilson optimism in Montreal

Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson at the Leeds Gymnastic Club. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson at the Leeds Gymnastic Club. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
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Leeds’s Olympic bronze medallist Nile Wilson produced a series of strong performances to effectively ensure qualification for the all-around final at the World Championships in Montreal.

But the 21-year-old who won a bronze medal in Rio on the high bar, will have to wait to see if he has done enough to make the final of that particular apparatus.

Wilson expressed delight at his display after a “rollercoaster” year which saw him battle back from a serious ankle injury, and said that the time away from the sport had helped him put his sport in perspective.

Wilson said: “I hit six steady and squeaky-clean routines but I feel like I left a few marks out there so I’m definitely looking to improve on those minor errors in the all-around final.

“The main thing is it’s been a rollercoaster year for me with the injury so I’m just so pleased to be back on the world stage, because it’s where I feel like I belong.

“It has put things into perspective. It’s great being an Olympic bronze medallist and a world-level gymnast, but in the grand scheme of things on planet Earth it’s nothing really, is it?”

Wilson is expected to be joined in the all-around final by Max Whitlock, who admitted nerves almost got the better of him after the double Olympic champion experienced mixed fortunes on the opening day.

Whitlock missed out on a place in the men’s floor final after a late stumble but recovered with a strong pommel routine to keep alive his hopes of defending the title he won in Glasgow in 2015.

The 24-year-old had spent a rare period out of the gym in the wake of his heroics in Rio and said his relatively short build-up to the Championship had contributed to his attack of nerves.

Whitlock said: “To be honest that was probably the most nervous I’ve been in my career. Everyone expects me to do well on pommel but I’d had a short, tight build-up and it was tough out there. I’m happy because I can learn a lot from that. I know that if I can feel as nervous as I did today, and still come through with a performance like that, then it’s a good thing.”