It is a big week for Gymnastics Ireland with the 2019 World Championships underway in Stuttgart and Team Ireland has secured a major prize already.
Rhys McClenaghan has qualified to the pommel-horse final, the first ever world final for an Irish gymnast.
McClenaghan scored a superb 15.200 on pommel yesterday during the first of the two-day qualifying rounds and goes into the finals in 2nd position overall.
In doing so his qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is also secured though the official confirmation of this will only come from the international gymnastics federation (FIG) once the apparatus finals draw to a close next Sunday 13th Oct.
McClenaghan will compete in the pommel horse final on Saturday 12th October with finals starting at 3 pm. The Championships are being broadcast live on the BBC.
The Championships are being held in Germany and are extending way beyond the mats and apparatus with Gymnastics Warrior and Parkour events taking place across the city.
“Rhys has done it again, said Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher. “Another historic result firstly for himself and secondly for Ireland as a sporting nation.”
“I can only congratulate Rhys, our national coach Luke Carson and Performance Manager Sally Johnson on faultless preparation for this event following his shoulder surgery in later 2018.”
“Along with the rest of the members and staff at Gymnastics Ireland, we can wait to see him compete in the World Pommel Final on Saturday.”
Fellow gymnast Adam Steele scored 77.431 in the All-Around competition, ranking 76th in the world.
Earlier in the week gymnasts Emma Slevin, Meg Ryan and Kate Molloy also finished on the Women’s All-Around qualifiers Friday with the highest score of 13.400 on Vault for both Ryan and Slevin. For the Women’s Artistic gymnasts this competition was focused on gaining experience at their first senior Worlds and continuing in their long-term preparation and development targeted at the World Championships in 2022 and Paris 2024.