Rhys McClenaghan made the perfect start to his Olympic campaign in Tokyo this morning with a hugely impressive display in qualification for the men’s pommel horse.
The 22-year-old Newtownards gymnast executed a near-perfect routine in his opening performance to nail a score of 15.266, which will comfortably see him through to the final, which takes place next Sunday, 1 August.
McClenaghan’s score of 15.266 was close to the tally with which he won the European title in 2018 (15.300) and his tally from the World Championships in 2019 (15.400), where he won Ireland’s first ever medal in the history of the championships.
“I feel like it was a good day at the office, and I’m an Olympian, that’s a dream come true,” said McClenaghan.
“We’re prepared as we can be and I feel like we can sharpen the execution a lot more for the finals and that’ll be a bigger score than I scored today.
"It’s about relying on the preparation I’ve done and to replicate what I’ve done today and do it a little better.”