Belfast Telegraph

McClenaghan on a high after taking historic World bronze

Rhys McClenaghan
Rhys McClenaghan

By Staff Reporter

Rhys McClenaghan created history by winning a bronze medal in the pommel horse event at the World Gymnastics final in Stuttgart.

The 20-year-old from Newtownards is the first ever Irish gymnast to win a medal in the World Championships - he had already secured a place at next year's Olympics in Tokyo by qualifying for the final.

England's Max Whitlock took the gold in a nail-biting final, though McClenaghan scored the highest mark - nine out of 10 - for the execution of his routine.

"It feels pretty amazing," said McClenaghan. "That was a tough final, it was the best pommel final that I've ever seen and it was a privilege to be in. It's phenomenal to be standing with a medal around my neck at the World Championships, and to be going to the Olympic Games is something special."

Whitlock, the Olympic champion, has won the world title in this event a record three times.

McClenaghan pipped him at both last year's Commonwealth Games and European Championships but Whitlock took the gold in Stuttgart by virtue of the fact that his routine was more difficult.

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