Rhys McClenaghan qualifies in top spot for pommel-horse final at European Championships
RHYS McClenaghan qualified for tomorrow’s pommel-horse final at the 2021 European Championships in Basel, Switzerland in emphatic style by taking first place in qualifying yesterday.
Commonwealth champion McClenaghan scored 14.766 in Basel on what was his first competitive outing since October 2019 while England's Max Whitlock, the reigning Olympic and World pommel horse champion, fell off during qualifying and is out of the competition.
“Lots of room for improvement but we got the job done for today,” posted a delighted McClenaghan after his success.
“A huge congratulations to Adam (Steele) for becoming the first Irish Male gymnast to qualify to the All-Around final. Ireland’s most successful European Champs!”
McClenaghan is aiming for a second European gold in tomorrow's final. The Newtownards native, who was unveiling a new routine in Switzerland, won his first European title in 2018 and followed that up with bronze at the World Championships a year later.
The 21-year-old is also expected to be one of Team Ireland's biggest medal contenders at this summer's Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, Adam Steele qualified for tomorrow’s All-Around final after taking 20th in qualifying yesterday and Emma Slevin, who became the first Irish female gymnast to qualify for a senior All-Around European Final, is in action today. The Galway native will compete in the All-Around Final from 12.15pm–2.45pm Irish time with the competition being broadcast on RTÉ2.