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McClenaghan celebrates as he secures Olympic berth and place in World final

The 20-year-old becomes the first Irish gymnast to make a World Championship final.

File photo: McClenaghan at last year's European Championships.
File photo: McClenaghan at last year's European Championships.
Image: Jane Barlow

‘I STARTED MY Olympic campaign at eight years old, this did not come easy,” tweeted Co. Down gymnast Rhys McClenaghan tonight as he celebrated a double dream come true.

The 20-year-old posted an impressive score of 15.200 in his pommel horse routine yesterday but was left with an anxious wait to see if he would become Ireland’s first gymnast to make a World Championship final.

As the event continued in Stuttgart tonight, McClenaghan’s final berth was secured and with it comes qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Source: FIG Channel/YouTube

Having claimed gold in the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships in 2018, the Newtownards man hoped to medal at last year’s World Championships before a shoulder injury scuppered his chances.

Tweet by @Rhys Mcclenaghan Source: Rhys Mcclenaghan/Twitter

This year’s Championship offers him another chance at the podium on the world stage and he will match up among the top eight in Saturday’s final.

“Rhys has done it again,” said Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher this evning.

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“Another historic result firstly for himself and secondly for Ireland as a sporting nation. I can only congratulate Rhys, our national coach Luke Carson and Performance Manager Sally Johnson on faultless preparation for this event following his shoulder surgery in later 2018.

“Along with the rest of members and staff at Gymnastics Ireland We can wait to see him compete in the World Pommel Final on Saturday.’

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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