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McClenaghan Saving The Best For Last In World Final
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan said he is ready to give his best, including higher difficulty and execution scores, in Saturday’s pommel horse final at the World Championships in Stuttgart.

"I can increase my difficulty a lot, and my execution can go up even more,” said McClenaghan of his performance in qualifications, where his second-ranked score of 15.200 reflected a difficulty score of 6.30 and an execution score of 8.90. “I had a little bit of an issue on my dismount, so that’s something we can completely take away. The execution score can be in the nines, and the start value can be very high, too, so I can potentially be pushing in the 16s.”

McClenaghan, the first Irish gymnast to advance to a world championships final, said the anxiety that comes with competing on the global stage subsides as soon as he touches the apparatus.

“When I wake up, the heart’s going and I feel a little bit shaky,” he said. “But once I get warmed up and especially once I put my hands on the pommel horse for the routine, the nerves go away. That’s what I’ve been practicing hundred of times, so it’s very comfortable.”

In qualifications, McClenaghan yielded just 0.066 to two-time world pommel horse champion Max Whitlock of Great Britain, who qualified first to Saturday’s final.

McClenaghan is confident he can better his qualifications performance with a dif-ficulty level that he will reveal in the course of his routine.

“I’ll save it for the final,” he said. “You’ll see it in the final.”

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