MC CLENAGHAN Rhys
Ireland
IRL
Title
Mr
Lastname
MC CLENAGHAN
Firstname
Rhys
Gender
male
Country
Ireland
Place of birth
Antrim
Year of birth
1999 (24 y.o.)
Discipline(s)
Men's Artistic Gymnastics
test img
Nickname
Prince of the Pommel (fig-gymnastics.com, 26 Sep 2018)
Hobbies
Vlogging, golf, spending time with family. (YouTube channel, 18 Aug 2023; bbc.com, 21 Oct 2019)
Occupation
Athlete
Education
Sport Studies - Bangor SERC: Northern Ireland
Spoken languages
English
Coach
Luke Carson [personal], IRL, from 2014
International senior debut
2017
Injuries
He was affected by cartilage damage to his wrist during the 2021 European Championships in Basel, Switzerland. (irishexaminer.com, 01 Aug 2021)

A labral tear in his shoulder, which caused fluid to leak out from the joint and harden into a cyst, affected his preparation ahead of the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He underwent surgery on the injury in November of that year after the championships. (independent.ie, 29 Apr 2019; bbc.co.uk, 16 Dec 2018; fig-gymnastics.com, 26 Oct 2018)
Start sporting career
He took up gymnastics at age six at Rathgael Gymnastics Club in Bangor, Northern Ireland.
Reason for taking up the sport
His mother encouraged him to try gymnastics as it complemented other sports he was already doing. "I was always climbing up on the rooftops, the highest tree that I could possibly find and my mum and dad would have liked me to channel that energy so they did bring me to a local gymnastics club."
Milestones
He became the first gymnast representing Ireland to compete in the final of an event at the Olympic Games, following his seventh place finish on pommel horse at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 24 Jul 2021; gymnasticsireland.com, 24 Jul 2021; SportsDeskOnline, 30 Aug 2023)

He became the first artistic gymnast representing Ireland to win a medal at the world championships by claiming bronze on pommel horse at the 2019 edition of the tournament in Stuttgart, Germany. He then became the first artistic gymnast representing Ireland to win a gold medal at the world championships with victory on the same apparatus in 2022 in Liverpool, England. (SportsDeskOnline, 17 Nov 2022; gymnasticsireland.com, 05 Nov 2022)

He became the first artistic gymnast representing Ireland to win a medal at the European championships when he claimed gold on pommel horse at the 2018 edition of the tournament in Glasgow, Scotland. (SportsDeskOnline, 12 Sep 2018; bbc.co.uk, 12 Aug 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 25 Sep 2022)
Trainings
He trains for up to 30 hours a week.
Most memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold on pommel horse at the 2022 World Championships in Liverpool, England. (Instagram profile, 10 Nov 2022, 05 Nov 2022; belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 07 Nov 2022)
Hero / Idol
British gymnasts Max Whitlock and Louis Smith. (fig-gymnastics.com, 26 Sep 2018; bbc.co.uk, 08 Apr 2018)
Most influential person in career
Coach Luke Carson. (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 07 Nov 2022)
Philosophy / Motto
"I don't let outside pressures get to me. I know that when I put up my hand for my routine, I'm in the zone. I'm doing my routine, I'm doing my job, and I don't let anything else disturb that. It's back to my own mindset." (intlgymnast.com, 05 Dec 2018)
Awards
He was named BBC Northern Ireland Sports Personality of the Year for 2022. (bbc.com, 23 Dec 2022)

He was named Gymnastics Ireland's Gymnast of the Year five times in a row between 2017 and 2022. (gymnasticsireland.com, 18 Nov 2022, 24 Nov 2021, 24 Oct 2019, 21 Nov 2018)

He was presented with a British Empire Medal [BEM] in the Queen's 2021 New Years Honours list. (bbc.co.uk, 31 Dec 2020)

He was named the Raidio Teilifis Eireann [RTE] Young Sportsperson of the Year in 2018 and 2019. (bbc.com, 15 Dec 2019)
Additional information
BIRMINGHAM 2022
Along with fellow gymnasts Eamon Montgomery and Ewan McAteer, he was initially barred from representing Northern Ireland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, by the International Gymnastics Federation [FIG]. FIG had made the decision as all three athletes were registered and had competed internationally for Ireland. However, in June 2022 FIG reversed its decision and the three gymnasts were allowed to compete. McClenaghan went on to win silver on pommel horse at the Games. "I know I'm going to look back on this medal and say, 'That's the time we almost didn't go'. I couldn't be prouder of the team I'm here with. Eamon and Ewan did their job getting to the finals [in the floor and vault], making history as the most successful Northern Ireland gymnastics team that has ever come to the Commonwealth Games. We can take pride in that and I've contributed a medal." (belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 02 Aug 2022; itv.com, 27 Jun 2022)

COACH
He began training with coach Luke Carson in 2014, and says he spent the first six months under Carson re-learning all the basic skills. "I did resent it, but I knew it had to be done. Straight away I started to excel. It was a no-brainer that Luke was the coach for me. He has got me to where I am today [speaking in 2021] and I'm grateful." (independent.ie, 31 Jul 2021)

TURNING POINT
Winning gold on pommel horse at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, was when he proved to himself he could compete with the elite in the sport. "When I stood on the podium, I just kept thinking about what this would do for the sport in the country, for younger gymnasts to see an 18-year-old beating the current Olympic champion [British gymnast Max Whitlock]. That's going to do something to their minds, that's going to inspire them and motivate them. People have said that to me throughout the past couple of years since I've been on the senior stage and that in itself means a huge amount. After winning Commonwealth Games, to win [2018] European Championships almost straight after that was just kind of to tell everybody I'm here for good, that wasn't it just wasn't a one off. I'm here for good." (olympics.com, 11 Apr 2021)

Last update : 2024-04-25

Olympic Games

2021 - Games of the XXXII Olympiad TOKYO (JPN)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
7
Score Final
13.100
Rank Qualif.
2
Score Qualif.
15.266
World Championships

2023 - 52nd FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships ANTWERP (BEL)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
164
Score Qualif.
14.933 
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
15.100
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
14.933

2022 - 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships LIVERPOOL (GBR)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
162
Score Qualif.
15.233 
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
15.300
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
15.233

2021 - 50th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships KITAKYUSHU (JPN)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
24
Score Qualif.
13.766

2019 - 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships STUTTGART (GER)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
231
Score Qualif.
15.200 
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
3
Score Final
15.400
Rank Qualif.
2
Score Qualif.
15.200

2018 - 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships DOHA (QAT)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
251
Score Qualif.
11.066 
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
113
Score Qualif.
11.066

2017 - 47th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships MONTREAL (CAN)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
190
Score Qualif.
14.300 
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
14
Score Qualif.
14.300
World Cup

2024 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2024 - Qualifying OG 2024 DOHA (QAT)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
3
Score Final
15.233
Rank Qualif.
4
Score Qualif.
14.966

2024 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2024 - Qualifying OG 2024 BAKU (AZE)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
38
Score Qualif.
11.966

2023 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2023 BAKU (AZE)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
2
Score Final
14.933
Rank Qualif.
6
Score Qualif.
14.200

2023 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2023 DOHA (QAT)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
2
Score Final
15.033
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
14.533

2023 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2023 COTTBUS (GER)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
5
Score Final
14.700
Rank Qualif.
5
Score Qualif.
14.733

2022 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2022 BAKU (AZE)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
13
Score Qualif.
13.800

2022 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2022 CAIRO (EGY)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
14.966
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
15.066

2022 - FIG Apparatus World Cup 2022 DOHA (QAT)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
2
Score Final
14.933
Rank Qualif.
4
Score Qualif.
14.466
World Challenge Cup

2023 - FIG World Challenge Cup 2023 PARIS (FRA)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
2
Score Final
15.100
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
15.250

2022 - FIG World Challenge Cup 2022 PARIS (FRA)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
15.100
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
15.000
Continental Championships

2022 - 2022 Senior European Championships MUNICH (GER)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
9
Score Qualif.
14.200

2021 - 9th European Individual Championships BASEL (SUI)

All-Around
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
119
Score Qualif.
14.766 
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
5
Score Final
13.566
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
14.766

2018 - 33rd Senior European Championships GLASGOW (GBR)

All-Around
Rank Final
137
Score Final
15.266 
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
15.300
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
15.266

2016 - 32nd European Championships 2016 BERN (SUI)

All-Around
Rank Final
13
Score Final
78.948 
Rank Qualif.
24
Score Qualif.
78.197 
Floor Exercise
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
39
Score Qualif.
13.433
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
2
Score Final
14.566
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
14.066
Still Rings
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
99
Score Qualif.
11.466
Parallel Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
54
Score Qualif.
12.900
Horizontal Bar
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
57
Score Qualif.
12.366
Team
Rank Final
17
Score Final
229.151
Rank Qualif.
-
Score Qualif.
-
World / Challenge Cup

2019 - FIG World Challenge Cup PARIS (FRA)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
9
Score Qualif.
14.100

2019 - FIG World Challenge Cup KOPER (SLO)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
15.450
Rank Qualif.
1
Score Qualif.
15.050

2019 - FIG World Challenge Cup ZHAOQING (CHN)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
2
Score Final
14.600
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
14.650

2018 - FIG World Challenge Cup MERSIN (TUR)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
14.150
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
13.850

2018 - FIG World Cup 2018 DOHA (QAT)

Floor Exercise
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
33
Score Qualif.
12.400
Pommel Horse
Rank Final
4
Score Final
14.333
Rank Qualif.
3
Score Qualif.
14.700
Parallel Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
24
Score Qualif.
12.600

2017 - FIG World Challenge Cup 2017 OSIJEK (CRO)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
1
Score Final
14.267
Rank Qualif.
2
Score Qualif.
14.300

2017 - FIG World Cup 2017 AGF Trophy BAKU (AZE)

Pommel Horse
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
10
Score Qualif.
13.966
Parallel Bars
Rank Final
-
Score Final
-
Rank Qualif.
20
Score Qualif.
12.400