MAX Whitlock has won his third world title on pommel horse.

The Basildon based Whitlock had to settle for silver in Doha last year.

But he edged a close competition with a score of 15.500, beating Lee Chih-kai of Chinese Taipei and Ireland's Rhys McClenghan, who had pipped Whitlock to gold at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships last year.

An early mistake might have cost Whitlock but the greater difficulty of his routine proved crucial.

Whitlock, who trains at South Essex Gymnastics Club, said: "I don't even know what to say, this time for some reason I'm speechless.

"I can't believe it, I feel so emotional and I'm so happy with that.

"This one meant so much for so many reasons."

Whitlock is the first British gymnast to win three world titles on the same piece of apparatus - he is also Olympic champion - while McClenaghan is the first Irish gymnast to claim a world medal.