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Athletic trio finally over Commonwealth hurdle

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Rhys McClenaghan

Rhys McClenaghan

Rhys McClenaghan

In some quarters it will be hailed as a victory for common sense. But surely common sense would have been to make the correct decision in the first place?

The three Northern Ireland athletes at the centre of a row about whether they can compete at this summer’s Commonwealth Games, having represented Ireland in the past, will now be allowed to compete.

It’s great news for Rhys McClenaghan, Eamon Montgomery and Ewan McAteer. But it all showed a complete lack of understanding from the International Gymnastics Federation (IGF).

“I was born in Northern Ireland, my residence is in Northern Ireland and I represented and won gold for Northern Ireland in the last Commonwealth Games,” said McCleneghan.

If that doesn’t say he’s fit to represent Northern Ireland, what does? If nothing else, at least the IGF managed to unite politicians, from TUV to Sinn Fein, in a nationality row, with all those in the chamber last month signing a letter backing the right of the three to compete. If only other mistakes of the past were as quickly overturned...

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