Rhys McClenaghan makes history by taking bronze at World Championships

20-year-old becomes the first Irish gymnast to win a medal at world level in Stuttgart

Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland celebrates after his routine in men’s pommel horse final at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland celebrates after his routine in men’s pommel horse final at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

 

Rhys McClenaghan became the first Irish gymnast to win a World Championship medal after the 20-year-old claimed bronze in Stuttgart on Saturday.

Britain’s Max Whitlock claimed his third world pommel horse title in Germany as he continued his build-up to the defence of his Olympic title in Tokyo next year.

Whitlock, who fell on the horse during Wednesday’s team final, looked in complete control as he finished with 15.500 points in the final – beating second-placed Lee Chih-kai of Taiwan by a slim margin of 0.067 of a point.

Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan performs at the pommel horse during the apparatus finals at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images
Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan performs at the pommel horse during the apparatus finals at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

After finishing second in Doha last year, Whitlock regained his world title to match his feats of 2015 and 2017.

Whitlock told BBC Sport: “I don’t even know what to say, this time for some reason I’m speechless. I can’t believe it. I feel so emotional, I’m so happy with that. This one meant so much for so many reasons.”

McClenaghan, who won gold in last year’s European Championships in Glasgow, finished with a score of 15.400 to take the last spot on the podium.

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