Rhys McClenaghan left frustrated in World Championships

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

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Antrim gymnast Rhys McClenaghan has failed to progress from the qualifiers at the World Gymnastics Championships in Japan this morning

It was a difficult day for the Irishman and for many today in the Gymnastic Arena in Kitakyushu. Rhys McClenaghan had to wait a long period before he got his chance to take to the pommel horse.

One of the other competitors at the event had tested positive for Covid-19 that morning and subsequently all equipment in the Arena.

This was the 22-year-old’s chance to make up for an unfortunate mistake that led to him missing out on a medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

 

When McClenaghan finally took to the pommel horse, he started well. He got through his tough routine swiftly using his good physical strength to control himself.

Unfortunately, the Irishman slipped towards the end of his routine and that would prove very costly this morning. He scored 13.766 which would not be enough to reach the final stage.

McClenaghan took to Twitter to share his disappointment and frustration:

“I’m sad I trained until this point just to have the chalk wiped off the equipment and been told to wait 1 hour 30 mins before I competed due to a competitor in the subdivision before testing positive for Covid.

“Time to go home and just hope there’s not another Worlds like this one.”

 

This ends a very disappointing year for the Antrim man. Still only 22, he will have plenty of time to grow his trophy cabinet at the World Championships and Olympic Games.

In his last World’s two years ago in Stuttgart, he claimed a bronze medal.

There is still a chance for Ireland in the World Championships

This is not the end for Irish hopes in Japan as Galway teenager Emma Slevin has reached the women’s All-Around final. That event will be shown live on RTE Player at 10:00 on Thursday 21st October in what could be a momentous day for Irish gymnastics.

To read more in-depth and up-to-date Irish gymnastics and other sports news, click here.

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