Fall sees Rhys McClenaghan crash out of World Championships

There were high hopes for the reigning European and Commonwealth champion heading into today’s qualification.

Disappointment: Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan.
Disappointment: Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

REIGNING EUROPEAN CHAMPION Rhys McClenaghan has crashed out of the World Gymnastics Championships in Doha this morning after two falls during his pommel horse routine.

There had been high hopes for the 19-year-old heading into the championships, but the Antrim native was unable to maintain his composure and suffered a disappointing finish to his campaign.

He racked up a score of 11.066, short of that required to advance to the final.

McClenaghan had claimed a stunning double in 2018 when he won Commonwealth gold in April, before taking gold in the same event at the Europeans in Glasgow two months ago.

“The Irish guys completed qualifications today on what has been a very dramatic Worlds so far for all nations,” said Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher after today’s events.

“Andy Smith was unlucky with a bounce out of the floor in an otherwise solid routine, Adam also suffered on Floor with a fall but put in quality performances on the 5 other apparatus for a solid AA result at his first World Championships.

“Disappointment also for Rhys on pommel, however there is no debating this has been an immense year for him and the rest of the Irish team.

“Congratulations to the guys, their coaches Sergey, Will and Luke and also to our judge Colm Murray and Performance and Technical Manager Sally Johnson. Onwards and upwards.”

Meaghan Smith is next to compete on the Women’s Artistic qualifications on Saturday, 27 October.

Gavin Cooney
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