Belfast Telegraph

Rhys McClenaghan wins World Cup medal on return from shoulder surgery

Rhys McClenaghan has taken second place on his return to competitive gymnastics.
Rhys McClenaghan has taken second place on his return to competitive gymnastics.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Newtownards gymnast Rhys McClenaghan has taken the silver medal at the FIG World Challenge Cup on his return to competitive action following shoulder surgery.

Northern Ireland's Commonwealth Games gold medal hero's hopes of winning the world title last year were ended by injury when he toppled from the pommel midway through qualifying for the World Championship in October.

He underwent surgery in November and, on his return to competitive action, he made an immediate return to the podium with a score of 14.600 to take the silver medal on the pommel-horse in China.

Unsurprisingly, the two-time World Cup gold medal winner is already targetting a return to the top step.

So happy to be back out doing my thing," he tweeted after winning silver on Monday. "This is a great opportunity to thank everybody who helped me recover from my shoulder surgery and get me back to medal winning form! Also thank you all for the support! Time to start bringing the (gold medal) back."️

McClenaghan added gold at last year's European Championships in Glasgow to his Commonwealth success and had been hoping to complete a title treble at the World Championships in Doha.

The 19-year-old has missed out on this year's European Championships, which were held in April, but will be aiming to make amends for last year's injury set-back at the World Championships in Stuttgart in October.

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