Gold Rush

Teenager Rhys McClenaghan wins gymnastics gold for Ireland at European Championships

The 19-year-old has won Ireland’s first gymnastics medal at the European Championships.

RHYS MCCLENAGHAN PRODUCED a mesmerising routine to make history and win gold in the pommel horse at the European Championships in Glasgow.

Britain Gymnastics European Championships Gold for Ireland! McClenaghan celebrates in Glasgow. AP / PA Images AP / PA Images / PA Images

The 19-year-old from Newtownards becomes the first Irish gymnast to win a European medal, after recording a personal best score of 15.300 at the SSE Hydro to finish clear of the eight-man field.

McClenaghan is Ireland’s fourth medallist across these European Championships following rowing silver for Gary and Paul O’Donovan, bronze in the 400m hurdles for Thomas Barr and Shane Ryan’s brilliant bronze in the 50m backstroke.

Up against Olympic champion Max Whitlock of Team GB, McClenaghan showed incredible confidence and poise throughout his routine, before nailing a triple Russian to record an emphatic victory.

Whitlock failed to medal after making an error during his routine, the British gymnast eventually finishing seventh in the overall standings, while Croatia’s Robert Seligman and Saso Bertoncelj of Slovenia joined McClenaghan on the podium.

The European title follows the pommel horse gold he won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year.

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