'Greatness' | 

Rhys McClenaghan pays tribute to coach after world championship win

"We had to be the outliers to achieve greatness. People dismissed our ambition and even stood in our way but we rose above it every time until we were on top. World Champions forever.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland celebrates after their Men's Pommel Horse Final routine on day eight of the 2022 Gymnastics World Championships at M&S Bank Arena on November 05, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Christopher LeebodyBelfast Telegraph

Rhys McClenaghan has paid tribute to his coach Luke Carson after winning man Ireland's first gymnastics world championship on Saturday.

The Co Down native won gold in the pommel horse at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool.

Taking to social media today, the 23-year-old paid tribute to his “coach and friend” for helping him to “achieve greatness.

"To my coach and friend Luke. We did it. If it was anybody else I wouldn’t be here,” McClenaghan wrote.

"We had to be the outliers to achieve greatness. People dismissed our ambition and even stood in our way but we rose above it every time until we were on top. World Champions forever.”

In another post, his coach tweeted: “This is a tribute to a life time of hard work, diligence and tireless dedication. This is a dream come true. World Champion.”

Rhys McClenaghan© SPORTSFILE

Already the most successful Irish gymnast ever, Rhys won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games for Northern Ireland and won Ireland’s first medal at the gymnastics world championships when he brought back bronze from Stuttgart in 2019.

He is now eyeing up gold at Paris in 2024.

“This has been a long time coming,” he said after his win.

“It has been a difficult year but I’m glad I could finish it off with my greatest achievement ever.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of for many years. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and to be world champion makes it all worthwhile.

“It just proves to myself and many others I’m still capable of going there and winning Olympic gold, which is a very exciting thought.

“I know I can perform under this immense pressure and I can do the same in Paris.”


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