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Rhys McClenaghan vows to “come back a better man” after Olympics heartbreak

Rhys McClenaghan misses out on medal.

Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan has missed out on an Olympics medal after dismounting just 20 seconds into his pommel horse final routine.

McClenaghan had high hopes for a medal going into the event but ended up finishing seventh out of eight gymnasts, with Britain’s Max Whitlock taking gold.

Afterwards, the 22-year-old was in bullish mood, telling RTE: “I know that I’ll feel disappointment but that’s okay. When I do feel disappointment that’s when I’m more motivated. I’m the first Irish gymnast to reach a final and that means a lot.

“I’m definitely the type of person to turn a negative into a positive and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to leave this arena with this incredible experience, becoming an Olympian, becoming first Irish gymnast to be an Olympic finalist and that is something very special to me.

Rhys McClenaghan: “I’ll come back a better man.”

“It didn’t go my way today. One finger placement is all it took to knock me off the horse. I’ll come back a better gymnast, a better man”

McClenaghan won bronze at the pommel horse event in the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart and had previously won gold competing for Northern Ireland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

rhys mcclenaghan

Elsewhere in Tokyo today, Rory McIlroy missed out on an Olympics medal after finishing fourth at the men’s event in Tokyo.

It was a disappointing day for the Irish boxers as Aidan Walsh was forced to settle for a bronze medal after withdrawing from his Olympics semi-final due to an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Kurt Walker was defeated by Duke Ragan on a split decision in his quarter-final.

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