MAX WHITLOCK admits there are few cities in the world that excite him quite as much as Glasgow does.

The two-time Olympic champion will be in the city for the European Gymnastics Championships, which take pace next month as part of Glasgow 2018. And with the Englishman having won his first world title in 2015 in the very same venue where the event will take place - the SSE Hydro - he admits that he cannot wait to return to one of his favourite cities.

“This is a unique event - the Europeans isn’t usually a multi-sport event but we’ll have seven sports going on and that brings such a good atmosphere - and with it being in Glasgow, that makes me even more excited.

“I’ve done the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and that was an unbelievable experience - every time I walked out into the arena, I got goosebumps all over my body.

And then the 2015 Worlds, that was the first World Championships that I’d ever been to. I have massively fond memories of the arena and so hopefully it can stimulate the same success this time around - but every competition is different.”

Whitlock, who is an ambassador for Glasgow 2018, has been at the forefront of gymnastics in this country for over half a decade now and has racked up a cabinet-full of silverware already, including five Olympic, six world, six European and ten Commonwealth medals.

It is quite an achievement for someone who is still only in their mid-twenties but 2018 has not all gone exactly to plan for him.

He returned from the Commonwealth Games in April with no individual gold medals which came as a sizeable shock to anyone who has had even a passing interest in the sport in recent years.

But rather than become disheartened about this blip, Whitlock in fact believes that it has acted as something of a kick up the backside and is one of the best things that could have happened to him.

“I obviously was gutted (in Gold Coast),” he said.

“I didn’t hit the targets I wanted to hit but that happens in sport. I had to look at it very quickly after that and put a positive spin on it. I learnt so much from that competition, more than I could have imagined going into the Commonwealth Games.

“It was an important stepping stone and a blessing in disguise because it has pushed me a lot.”

“It’s put the fire back in my belly that I think I needed. I’ve always thrived off challenges and now I’ve got that.

“Now, I know that while I’ll still stick to the plan I was following, I also need to make some minor changes so I’ve done that.

“My pommel routine is a different structure, to bring something new. We’ve got to remember as gymnasts that the judges are humans like the rest of us and they like to see something new and unique so that’s what I want to bring to the European Championships. I want to spice it up a little bit - that’ll be exciting for me and I can’t wait to show it.

“On floor, I’m doing something different too. That routine is difficult as well but I’m looking forward to going out there and giving it my best shot.”

The danger of achieving the levels of success that Whitlock has is that it can become easy to take one’s foot off the gas. But Whitlock disputes that being so utterly dominant, as he has been, is far from boring and in fact, he is desperate to push himself even further in a quest to find out exactly what he can achieve, and if he can emulate some the legends of British sport who he so admires.

“I don’t think it’ll ever get boring - if it gets boring, that’s when I’ll retire,” he said. “But I don’t think that day will ever come. I want to push on and my target and my mission is to see where my limit is. My target is to get titles and I’m very proud of what I’ve done already but the hardest thing is to retain titles. It’s a lot easier to get the initial result, it’s a lot harder to defend things so that’s what I’m aiming for.

“My coach has always said he wants me to be a legend of the sport. That is the dream for any athlete. I just want to keep going as long as I can and get to my limits, keep producing results. The reason I look up to those guys [Farah and Ennis-Hill] is that they haven’t stopped, they kept coming back and produced more and more.

“If I can get similar results to what Mo and Jess achieved I would be very, very happy.”