A top Irish gymnast blamed his poor performance on a slippery pommel horse that was wiped down after the competitor before him tested positive for COVID-19

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Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland during the men's pommel horse final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Rhys McClenaghan of Ireland during the men's pommel horse final at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
  • Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan slipped while competing in the pommel horse at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Wednesday.

  • He failed to qualify for the finals after receiving a low score on the performance.

  • He blamed his poor performace on the pommel horse being cleaned after another gymnast tested positive for COVID-19.

A top Irish gymnast who didn't qualify for the Artistic Gymnastic World Championship finals this week blamed his poor performance on a slippery pommel horse, which had been wiped down after the competitor before him tested positive for COVID-19.

Rhys McClenaghan, who won bronze for pommel horse at the 2019 World Championships, was set to compete on Wednesday in Kitakyushu, Japan, when another gymnast tested positive for COVID-19, the Irish Times reported.

After a 90-minute break in which workers cleaned the area, McClenaghan took his turn on the pommel horse and slipped.

In the end, he scored 13,766 points, placing him in 19th, according to the Irish Times.

"I'm sad I trained until this point just to have the chalk wiped off the equipment and been told to wait 1hour 30mins before I competed," McClenaghan said on Twitter. "Due to a competitor in the subdivision before testing positive for covid. Time to go home and just hope there's not another Worlds like this one."

McClenaghan did reach the finals in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, but ultimately placed seventh after losing control on the pommel horse handles and falling.

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