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Rhys McClenaghan favourite to land European gold after Max Whitlock's shock exit

Gymnastics

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Rhys McClenaghan

Rhys McClenaghan

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Rhys McClenaghan

Newtownards' Rhys McClenaghan qualified in first place for the final of the pommel horse at the European Championships as nearest rival Max Whitlock fell in his qualifier.

Commonwealth champion McClenaghan, competing for Ireland in the Euros, produced a brand new routine and scored 14.766 to reach the final, which will be held in Basel tomorrow.

And the Newtownards man will be the comfortable favourite now that Whitlock, the reigning Olympic and World pommel horse champion, is out after falling in his qualifier.

McClenaghan is aiming to win his second gold medal at European level after finishing top of the standings in 2018.

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