RHYS McCLENAGHAN made history today by securing Ireland’s first ever European gymnastics medal after taking gold on the pommel horse, before promising: “There’s more to come.”
The 19-year-old, the first Irish gymnast ever to make the final, secured top spot with a score of 15.300, exceeding the personal best he set in qualifying.
Robert Seligman of Croatia took silver while Slovenia's Saso Bertoncelj took bronze at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
EUROPEAN CHAMPION ON POMMEL!!! Life is good! More to come people, believe me... pic.twitter.com/PthDtRMv9T
— Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) 12 August 2018
It’s Ireland’s fourth medal of the European Championships following Gary and Paul Donovan’s silver in rowing, Thomas Barr's bronze in the 400m hurdles and Shane Ryan's bronze in the 50m backstroke.
Meanwhile it’s a third pommel horse gold this year for Co. Down native McClenaghan, after success at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup and at the Commonwealth Games, where he represented Northern Ireland.
This latest success is an amazing achievement for McClenaghan, who at one point this year was forced to train in his back garden after his coach was made redundant at his gym due to funding issues.
McClenaghan though has since been training at the Sport Ireland Institute in Dublin with the support of Gymnastics Ireland and Sport Ireland.
Praise flooded in for McClenaghan following his momentous victory in Glasgow.
“May I congratulate Rhys McClenaghan on his fantastic achievement, winning gold at the European Championships in Glasgow.”
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) 12 August 2018
Huge congratulations to Rhys McClenaghan from Newtonards who won gold medal at the European Championships at the the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, becoming the first Irish gymnast to win a European medal.
— michelle oneill (@moneillsf) 12 August 2018
AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT ...We have an Irish gold medal in gymnastics at European Championships...19 years old Rhys McClenaghan #gymnastics #ireland #EuropeanChampionship2018 #coybig pic.twitter.com/Duny4DBYM5
— Deric Ó hArtagáinTV3 (@deric_hartigan) 12 August 2018
Many many congratulations to Rhys McClenaghan from Newtonards who has secured gold in the pommel horse at the European Championships at the the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. @Euro_Champs
— British Embassy (@BritEmbDublin) 12 August 2018
Just Wow! For anyone who thought last time was a fluke, give it up for this genuine world beater https://t.co/fTKyEswhFV
— Mike Nesbitt (@mikenesbittni) 12 August 2018
Wow gold medal for Rhys McClenaghan @euroopti2010 amazing & beautiful to watch. Well deserved. Éire proud as punch. Fear óg iontach. Whoop whoop.@sinnfeinireland
— Liadh Ní Riada MEP (@LiadhNiRiadaMEP) 12 August 2018
Congratulations to Down man Rhys McClenaghan from newtownards who won gymnastics Gold for Ireland @ European championships.
— Official Down GAA (@OfficialDownGAA) 12 August 2018
Great day for Irish Gymnastics
Rhys McClenaghan has secured gold in the pommel horse at the European Championships at the the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.Brilliant
— Pat Catney MLA (@PatCatney) 12 August 2018
Well done Rhys McClenaghan secured gold for #Ireland in the Pommel Horse at the #EuropeanChampionships2018 Championships pic.twitter.com/uAN7D5nUDJ
— Maurice Quinlivan TD (@QuinlivanTD) 12 August 2018