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Rhys McClenaghan (file photo). ©INPHO

Rhys McClenaghan crowned European champion once again

Gold for McClenaghan in pommel final in Italy.

RHYS MCCLENAGHAN HAS successfully defended his Pommel Horse title at the European Gymnastics Championships in Rimini, Italy.

McClenaghan again won the gold medal after a superb, clean routine which scored 15.300.

The back-to-back world champion triumphed in Europe in 2018, 2023 — and now 2024.

Performing second last in this evening’s final, McClenaghan was seamless throughout a dominant performance, which may be his final piece of competitive action ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The 24-year-old had qualified in second with a score of 15.133.

Loran De Munck of the Netherlands (14.933) claimed the silver medal, while Georgia’s Marios Georgiou (14.800) finished third.

It was a dramatic final in Rimini with three falls and other twists and turns, but McClenaghan typically kept his cool to triumph once more.

“Very proud moment, triple European Champion,” his coach, Luke Carson, said.

“The goal was to come here and showcase Olympic level gymnastics, that was certainly achieved. Now we recoup, reenergise and work towards final improvements for Olympic Games.”

Gymnastics Ireland Performance and Technical Manager Director, Sally Johnson, and CEO, Ciaran Gallagher, also shared well wishes, congratulations and thanks.

2024-mens-artistic-gymnastics-european-championships-day-3 McClenaghan with Loran de Munck (left) and Marios Georgiou on the podium. Filippo Tomasi / SPORTSFILE Filippo Tomasi / SPORTSFILE / SPORTSFILE

“Smooth clean performance by Rhys, very professional and well composed securing his title and preparation for the Paris Olympics,” Johnson said.

“A third European title to add to his collection – absolutely superb performance yet again from Rhys as the countdown to Paris 2024 continues,” Gallagher added. 

James Hickey contests the Junior Pommel Horse final tomorrow morning, before Dominick Cunningham goes into the Senior Vault decider.

Emma Slevin, Blathnaid Higgins, Halle Hilton, Lily Russell and Mimi Moloney will all participate at the women’s event next week.

The Journal publishes the biggest breaking news in Irish and international sport but for all of The 42′s insightful analysis and sharp sportswriting, subscribe here.

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