Halifax gymnastics star Whitehouse crowned European floor champion in Turkey

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Halifax’s Luke Whitehouse has won gold in the men’s floor final at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antalya, Turkey.

Whitehouse, 20, made it a Great Britain major championships debut to remember with a phenomenal routine that defeated Olympic and European champion Artem Dolgopyat, of Israel.

The Halifax star opened his routine with his now trademark high-tariff ‘triple back’ in the most difficult routine of the day, which scored a massive 14.9 points to clinch the title. The BBC television commentators said it was the best floor routine they have ever seen.

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Whitehouse is the first British gymnast to complete the triple back at the championships and becomes one of a select group of British gymnasts to win the title, including Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Dominic Cunningham.

Halifax gymnast Luke Whitehouse won the European floor title in Turkey.Halifax gymnast Luke Whitehouse won the European floor title in Turkey.
Halifax gymnast Luke Whitehouse won the European floor title in Turkey.

The individual gold follows a team bronze, in which Whitehouse competed alongside Jake Jarman, Courtney Tulloch, Adam Tobin and Josh Nathan.

Whitehouse said: “Honestly, I just came here to enjoy myself and gain experience. Winning the team medal was enough then to make the floor final was incredible.

"That was probably the best routine of my life. I knew I had it in me and knew I could do it but to produce it on this stage. I’m over the moon.

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"I saw my parents as I walked out then when I finished there was a fist pump to them, I’m sure they’ll be so proud.”

Whitehouse is now English, British and European floor champion and he will now turn his attentions to the World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, in October, and ultimately, the Olympics in Paris next year.

He trains out of Leeds Gymnastics Club, coached by Andy Butcher, Dave Murray and Tom Rawlinson, together with support and guidance of the national coach Baz Collie. He is studying at Leeds Beckett’s University.