Rhys McClenaghan has won gold in the pommel horse final at the 2023 European Gymnastic Championships in Antalya, Turkey.
The 23-year-old will take home his second European medal of his career, having won the event in 2018 as a teenager in Glasgow.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympian notched up an impressive score of 14.666, showing his class in what was nearly an incident-free routine.
McClenaghan opened the final having qualified with the best score from Tuesday's qualifier.
He had qualified with a score of 14.966.
Belgium’s Maxime Gentges took silver with a score of 14.566, with Artur Davtyan of Armenia third at 14.266.
The Newtownards man is the current world champion and will look to defend his title later this year in Antwerp, Belgium.
It's why he's a world champion!
Rhys McClenaghan with another magnificent routine on pommel horse to score 14.666
WATCH LIVE 📹 https://t.co/VoN2weLz5q#Antalya2023 | #Artistic | #Gymnastics pic.twitter.com/1tZ9QXFj5s
— European Gymnastics (@UEGymnastics) April 15, 2023
#Gymnastics medal alert 🥇
Yes! 🇮🇪Rhys McClenaghan is our 2023 European Pommel Champion!
Huge congratulations to Rhys, National Coach Luke Carson and team! 💚👊🏻 #GymnasticsIreland #TeamIreland #Antalya2023 pic.twitter.com/ExZrA7WNd8
— Gymnastics Ireland (@GymnasticsIre) April 15, 2023
EUROPEAN AND WORLD CHAMPION 🔥🤯
Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?
Congratulations Rhys 👊#EuropeanChampion | #TeamIreland pic.twitter.com/39ccWJ9CLC
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) April 15, 2023
Rhys McClenaghan looks ahead to Paris 2024
However, all roads lead to the Olympics next summer in Paris for the Irish gymnast.
"Everything I do is leading up to Paris and I can't wait for that opportunity," he told Des Cahill on Saturday Sport.
"We need to qualify for Paris first of all, that's the main aim for this year. World Championships will be that opportunity."
"My eyes are set on World Championships, hopefully claiming my second world title and also qualifying for the Olympic Games."
McClenaghan will now take a week off to let his body recover admitting he was "quiet sore" after competing in these championships.
"I love the sport. I feel like everyday I go into the gym it's exactly what I want to do. The hard part about my training is not training at all," he admitted.
McClenaghan finished seventh at the last Olympics in Tokyo after he fell off the pommel horse during his routine.
On that occassion he made history becoming the first Irish gymnast ever to make an Olympic final.
Given the form he has been in, he will see himself as a strong contender for a podium place in Paris next year.