Rhys McClenaghan is first Irish gymnast to make Olympic final

Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland celebrates after competing on the Pommel Horse in artistic gymnastics qualification. Credit: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

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Rhys McClenaghan today became the first Irish gymnast to qualify for an Olympic final.

Following his incredible performance on the Pommel Horse earlier today, McClenaghan had a long wait for the completion of the three subdivisions to receive the exciting news.

McClenaghan sat comfortably in 1st place throughout the first and second subdivision with the hopes of qualification set firmly in his sight.

After the day’s competition, McClenaghan finished in joint 2nd place alongside Kohei Kameyama of Japan, on a score of 15.266.

Gymnasts are judged on a combination of Difficulty (D) & Execution (E) for their performance and both gymnasts were awarded the same score as Taiwan’s Chih Kai Lee in 1st place.

Lee was declared the winner by achieving a higher execution mark. He was awarded 6.400 for Difficulty (D) and 8.866 for Execution (E). He beat both McClenaghan’s and Kameyama’s Execution (E) mark of 8.766. The runners-up were awarded 6.500 for Difficulty (D).

“I am so proud to be the first Irish gymnast to make an Olympic final,”McClenaghan stated. “I am looking forward to going out and representing Team Ireland once again.”

Meanwhile, the Irish women’s hockey team beat South Africa 2-0 in their Olympic opener today. Read the report here.

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