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McClenaghan: 'I Didn't Have The Numbers Behind Me'
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A series of flashbacks from the 2018 World Championships in Doha.

2018 European pommel horse champion Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland fell twice in qualifications in Doha, where he acknowledged that a recently suffered left shoulder injury restricted him physically and mentally.

“I couldn’t do the routines and I didn’t have the numbers behind me that would support me in competition, and that’s a big factor I rely on,” said the 19-year-old McClenaghan. “To perform my routine and not have that confidence hinders my performance. It’s a shame but that’s sport. It’s my fault, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym and getting the numbers in that I missed.”

McClenaghan, Ireland’s first European gymnastics champion, said he did not carry any extra burden of responsibility in Doha.

“I don’t let outside pressures get to me,” he said. “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.”

In the moments following McClenaghan’s faulty performance in Doha, he was already plotting his vindication.

“I have to get over this and come back stronger, because I know I’m one of the best in the world,” McClenaghan said. “I’m looking forward to that time when I can stand on the top spot of the podium.”

IG’s John Crumlish was chief editor/reporter for the organizing committee’s News Service at the 2018 World Gymnastics Championships in Doha.

Read complete coverage of the 2018 World Championships in the December 2018 issue of International Gymnast magazine.

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