Friday 18 August 2017

Ellis O’Reilly becomes the first ever Irish female Gymnast to qualify for an Olympic Games

Ellis O'Reilly
Ellis O'Reilly
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

History was made last night at the HSBC Barra Olympic Arena 18 year old Irish gymnast, Ellis O’ Reilly, captured a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games through her performance at the Aquecce Rio Test Event, the final qualifying event for the Rio Olympic 2016.

She becomes the first Irish female gymnast to qualify for an Olympic Games.  O’Reilly joins Kieran Behan who qualified on Saturday for Rio 2016.

Speaking of the achievement from Rio, Gymnastics Ireland CEO, Mr Ciaran Gallagher said “Ellis has made history for Gymnastics Ireland by qualifying to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 

"This is a huge step forward for our women's programme and in becoming the first Irish female gymnast to qualify to an Olympic Games Ellis' achievement will serve to inspire to all the young up and coming Irish gymnasts who will want to follow in her footsteps.

"The focus for Ellis and coach Sam James now shifts to the summer Games where she will join Kieran Behan in flying the Irish flag at the most prestigious competition in our sport. 

"It was an ambitious target set by Sally Filmer, our Performance & Technical Manager, four years ago to qualify one male and one female gymnast to Rio but today it is a target achieved.  On behalf of our organisation I would like to congratulate Ellis and Kieran on this great achievement."

The 18-year-old gymnast who trains out of the Europa Gymnastics club in London and is coached by Sam James, was absolutely delighted with her performance and history making result.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today congratulated O’Reilly on her exploits.

Minister Ring said: "I would like to congratulate Ellis on her wonderful performance at the gymnastics qualifier in Rio this morning and in the process becoming the first ever Irish female gymnast to qualify for an Olympic Games’.

“It was the final qualifying event for the Games so it makes Ellis’ achievement all the more remarkable. It is a huge boost to Irish gymnastics and hopefully will inspire more girls to take up the sport and try to follow in Ellis’ footsteps.

“I am sure Ellis’ coach, Sam James, and everyone at the Europa Gymnastics Club in London and all her family and friends are immensely proud of her historic achievement.

“It was a fantastic weekend all round for Gymnastics Ireland with Kieran Behan also qualifying for Rio on Saturday and I would like to congratulate the CEO, Ciaran Gallagher, and everyone in the organisation on this success. It is a magnificent achievement for Gymnastics Ireland to have two gymnasts representing Ireland in Rio this summer.” 

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