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Rhys retains top young star prize

RTE Sports Personality

Rhys McClenaghan
Rhys McClenaghan

The awards just keep on coming on for Northern Ireland's outstanding young gymnast Rhys McClenaghan.

On Saturday night the 20-year-old from Newtownards collected the Young Sportsperson of the Year prize at the RTE Sports Awards.

It was the second year in succession that McClenaghan had been chosen for the honour and caps an impressive 2019 for him.

Earlier this year McClenaghan became the first Irish gymnast to earn a medal at the World Championships finishing third and landing a bronze in the pommel horse discipline. He also took home gold in the same event at the World Challenge Cup.

Last year, McClenaghan won Commonwealth Games and European titles and now the question is what will he achieve in 2020?

The talented young man has qualified for next year's Olympic Games and has his sights set on winning gold. Coached by Luke Carson, don't put it past him.

McClenaghan has the belief, desire and commitment to go all the way and lift the biggest prize of all in his sport.

"I'm very pleased to have picked up the RTE Young Sportsperson of the Year for the second consecutive year. I'm continuing to achieve my goal of bringing gymnastics to the public eye," he said.

Shane Lowry, victorious at the The Open at Royal Portrush, was named the Sportsperson of the Year.

Lowry's triumph was his first major title. He was a popular winner then and in Dublin at the weekend.

The Offaly man paid tribute to his deceased Clara clubmate John Buckley on receiving his award.

Other big winners on Saturday night were Jim Gavin, who was named Manager of the Year after guiding Dublin to their fifth All-Ireland title in a row, and athlete Sonia O'Sullivan. The former World 5,000m champion was inducted into the RTE Sport Hall of Fame.

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