Olympics

Rhys McClenaghan Becomes First Irish Gymnast To Qualify For A World Final

Rhys McClenaghan Becomes First Irish Gymnast To Qualify For A World Final

Rhys McClenaghan became the first Irish gymnast to qualify for a world final on Monday evening.

At the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, the 20-year-old scored 15.200 in pommel horse qualifying, progressing to Saturday's final in second position.

Great Britain's Max Whitlock, who won gold on the apparatus at the 2016 Olympic Games, finished ahead of McClenaghan, scoring 15.266.

The performance puts the Newtownards man in a strong position to secure a spot at next year's Olympics in Tokyo. Those places will be confirmed at the conclusion of the championships on Sunday.

"That was one emotional phone call home," he wrote on Twitter.

He added: "I’M GOING TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES!!! A dream come true. Also first EVER Irish Gymnast to make a World Final."

Advertisement

McClenaghan, who won pommel horse gold last year at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, will be one of Ireland's main medal hopes in Tokyo.

Monday's achievement comes a year on from disappointment at the 2018 World Championships. Owing to a shoulder injury, McClenaghan fell twice during qualifying and failed to make the final. He subsequently underwent shoulder surgery and returned to full training in April.

The pommel horse finals gets underway at 3pm on Saturday.

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

See Also: Ireland's Big Olympic Gymnastics Medal Hope Thriving After Move To Dublin

 

PJ Browne
Article written by

You may also like