8 August 16:23 (BST)

Pommel horse specialist McCLENAGHAN (IRL) pins his intentions on top of his Twitter feed

GLASGOW - 'Commonwealth Games champion on pommel horse' was pinned to the top of Rhys McCLENAGHAN's Twitter feed on 8 April after the Irishman beat Britain's Olympic champion Max WHITLOCK to the gold medal on the Gold Coast.

The pinned Tweet continued:  'Coming for that world title next Max', and next on McCLENAGHAN's road to world championships glory are the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

McCLENAGHAN is looking forward to challenging his rival again in Scotland: "I know what I am capable of and I know I can go out here and potentially win a [gold] medal. It is exciting to think about that but I need to focus on that one routine though. I need to get through it first," the 19-year-old said.

The Irish pommel horse specialist competes in the second of three subdivisions and must sit through the final group of gymnasts before learning if he will qualify among the top eight athletes in the event.

"I haven't really looked at the start sheet," he said. "My main goal is just to do my job, to do a clean routine. I just know when I need to compete and when I need to warm up. I don't think about anyone else's job here. I just think about my own qualifying routine."

At Glasgow 2018, it is Russia's David BELYAVSKIY who defends the European pommel horse title but the main show on the apparatus in The SSE Hydro will most likely be between McCLENAGHAN and WHITLOCK.

Three years ago in the same venue and on the same apparatus, WHITLOCK, who is 25, won his first world championship title, followed by Olympic gold at the Rio 2016 Games and a second world title in 2017.

In 2015, McCLENAGHAN was still a junior gymnast and all he could do was watch his rival at The SSE Hydro.

"I was already a pommel horse specialist back then and went from watching a major championships in 2015 to competing in one in 2018. It is such an incredible arena to compete in and I am excited to show what I can do here.

"I hope it will be a very exciting competition," the teenager said.

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