A "disappointed" Rhys McClenaghan finished fifth at the European Gymnastic Championships after suffering a costly fall in the pommel horse final.
The 2018 European champion had topped the qualifying for Saturday’s final in Basel with a score of 14.766.
Disappointed. I'm so much more than what I demonstrated at these Europeans. The difficult side of sport... Back to the gym. pic.twitter.com/IFz8ZI3SaV— Rhys Mcclenaghan (@McClenaghanRhys) April 24, 2021
The last of the eight finalists to take to the stage, McClenaghan looked set to capitalise after watching three of his rivals dismount.
However, the Newtownards man also came off late in his routine. He recovered to produce a clean dismount but his score of 13.566 saw him finish in fifth place.
Armenia's Artur Davtyan won gold with a score of 14.266, while Russia’s Nikita Nagornyy and Britain’s Joe Fraser took second and third respectively.
"Yes of course I'm disappointed just because I know I am so much more than what I presented here at the European Championships but it kind of just goes to show that Irish gymnasts aren’t just happy with just participating anymore," McLenaghan said afterwards.
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"Even with Emma Slevin’s results and Adam’s results. They want to make finals, they want to bring medals back and I’m in the exact same boat. I wanted to get a medal today but that's gymnastics.
"It’s all about the bigger picture, it’s all about the Olympic Games, it’s all about the World Championships. It’s no longer about just the European Championships.
"My standard is beyond that now because I know I can post a routine that is the best in the world and I’ll hopefully go down in history as the best pommel horse worker in the world. That’s not going to come by watering down my routines and performing an easier routine just so I can get a medal at this specific championships.
"I could’ve very easily went for a much easier routine but I chose not to because I am thinking of the bigger picture with my two coaches Luke and Matthew.
"Now it’s straight back to the gym. Today will just give me more hunger going back to training for the Tokyo Olympic Games. It’ll make me hungrier for that gold medal that I think I am completely capable of winning."