Ireland scored its best ever performance on the International Gymnastics stage this weekend with Andrew Smith, Adam Steele and Rhys McClenaghan qualifying for no fewer than 6 apparatus finals at the 2018 World Challenge Cup in Mersin, Turkey.
The highlight was Rhys McClenaghan’s gold medal-winning routine on Pommel-Horse but it is the growing strength in depth that perhaps bodes even better for the future of the sport here.
Having gone from one Olympian in London to two in Rio, and now the promise of more, the investment in time and energy that Gymnastics Ireland is making, as well as the added impetus of using the Sport Ireland National indoor Arena to such good effect is clearly making a difference
“This is the best-ever performance by an Irish delegation at a FIG World Cup Event, 6 finals between 3 gymnasts and a gold medal gives us all so much to be proud of in Gymnastics Ireland,” said Ciaran Gallagher, CEO for the national governing body.
“While it was a superb achievement for Adam and Andrew to qualify for finals, their performances throughout both qualification and the finals themselves demonstrate they are both capable of podium finishes on the World Cup Circuit.”
“For Rhys another World Cup Pommel Champion title to his name and further evidence that he is one of the Worlds best on this apparatus.”
“The Irish team has made history with all three gymnasts qualifying in six finals,” added Gymnastics Ireland Performance and Technical manager Sally Johnston speaking from Turkey.
“Special congratulations to Adam making four finals and a personal best on the floor.”
Andrew Smith, Adam Steele and Rhys McClenaghan have all been selected for the European Championships in August and World Championships in October so their exploits in the international spotlight are not over yet.
The European Championships take place in Berlin during the first week in August.