Rhys McClenaghan shone in qualification for the pommel horse final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with his score of 15.266 the joint second highest overall.

The 2018 European champion and 2019 world bronze medallist is considered a medal contender, and the Down native did not disappoint, producing a polished display to book his place in the final on Sunday week.

"I feel like I've set the standard for the day and I'm just interested to see who joins me in the final," he told RTÉ Sport.

"Qualification day is the most important day because if I don't perform today you won't even see me in the final."

After the day's competition, McClenaghan finished in joint second alongside Kohei Kameyama, Japan.

Gymnasts are judged on a combination of Difficulty (D) & Execution (E) for their performance and both gymnasts were awarded the same score as Taiwan's Chih Kai Lee in 1st place.

However, Lee was declared the winner by achieving a higher execution mark.

"I am so proud to be the first Irish gymnast to make an Olympic final," McClenaghan stated after the news was officially confirmed.

"I am looking forward to going out and representing Team Ireland once again."

Defending champion Max Whitlock also eased through to the 1 August final on his return to Olympic competition.

Whitlock scored 14.9, ranking him fifth overall in the standings.

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