Rhys McClenaghan was left dejected after this morning's Pommel Horse final, but the 22-year-old says he will return stronger for his experience at the 2020 Olympic Games.
The 2019 world medalist had been viewed as a medal contender in these games, but a slip of a finger saw him fall early in his final routine before an eventual 7th place finish.
After the slip, McClengahn composed himself to complete the routine for a final score of 13.100, well below his qualifying tally of 15.266.
Indeed, McClenaghan's qualifying score would have been enough for third place in this morning's final, with only Max Whitlock of Team GB and Kai Chih of Chinese Taipei scoring higher.
Speaking to RTE in the moments after the final, a crestfallen McClenaghan said his result highlighted the fine margins in gymnastics and vowed to come back stronger in Paris in three years' time.
"I know that I’ll feel disappointed with this performance but that’s ok, I feel like when I do feel disappointment, that’s when I’m more motivated than ever, I’m more hungry than ever.
"I’m definitely the type of person to turn a negative into a positive and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to leave this arena with this incredible experience, becoming an Olympian, becoming first Irish gymnast to be an Olympic finalist and that is something very special to me.
“I will be more hungry. This is a very early chapter in my gymnastics career. It didn’t go my way today. One finger placement is all it took for me to knock me off the horse. That’s the finest margins that are in this game.
“I know I’ll come back a way better gymnast, a way better man," he said.
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