Historic European Finals for Ireland's Next Generation of Talented Gymnasts

25th May 2016, 00:00a.m. | International

Ireland's next generation of male gymnastics stars were in action this morning in the Qualifying Round at the 2016 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Bern, Switzerland.

Rhys McClenaghan (Rathgael, Bangor), Tony Duchars (Douglas, Cork) and Ewan McAteer (Salto, Lisburn) put in world class performances across the board.

Stand out junior Rhys, with total score of 78.197, has made history by becoming the first Irish male gymnast to qualify for a European Junior Final. Rhys has qualified in 23rdposition for the All Around Finals on Friday. His strong score of 14.066 on the Pommel has also qualified him in 3rd place for the Apparatus Finals on Sunday. Despite a fall on his first attempt on the Vault, Ewan McAteer was placed a very credible 13th with a score of 13.766 and was very unlucky to miss out on a final. Tony Duchars had a solid day throughout with his High Bar score of 13.183, top high-bar score of subdivision 1.

CEO of Gymnastics Ireland, Ciaran Gallagher, speaking from the competition in Bern had this to say about the performances of the 3 gymnasts:

These historic results come at an exciting time for our sport in Ireland and in this crucial Olympic year. Not only do we have one male and one female gymnast qualified through to Rio with Kieran Behan & Ellis O'Reilly due to represent us in August, but we have demonstrated the past 4-6 years of investment in our new High Performance system, headed up by our Performance & Technical Manager Sally Filmer, is yielding promising results for our next generation of gymnastics stars in Ireland. I want to congratulate the Junior team of Rhys, Tony & Ewan and in particular congratulate Rhys on qualifying for both the All Around and Pommel finals. Congratulations must also be extended to National Performance Coach Luke Carson & personal coaches Wajdi Bouallègue, Will Banthorpe & Ben Howells. We look forward to seeing Rhys take to the podium among Europe's best in the coming days finals.” 

Tomorrow it is the turn of the Men’s Senior Team to compete. They take to the floor at 2pm local time and hopes are high for clean performances and good scores.

The Gymnastics Ireland women aren’t in action until next week when Ireland’s Ellis O'Reilly, Casey Bell and Meg Ryan will be in action. 

Below is the timetable of events for the rest of the Men's tournament and the timetable for the Women’s tournament which starts next Wednesday.


Event schedule

Men Wednesday, May 25: Juniors qualifications 11:00 - 21:40 Thursday, May 26: Senior qualifications 11:00 - 21:15  Friday, May 27: Junior all-around Final 19:30 - 22:00 Saturday, May 28: Senior  team Final 15:30 - 18:10 Sunday, May 29: Junior and senior apparatus Finals 11:30 - 18:20

Women     Wednesday, June 1: Junior qualifications 11:00 - 21:20 Thursday, June 2: Senior qualifications 11:00 - 20:20 Friday, June 3: Junior all-around final 20:00 - 21:50 Saturday, June 4: Senior team final 18:00 - 19:50 Sunday, June 5: Junior and senior apparatus finals 12:00 - 18:40

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