Friday 24 November 2017

Ecstatic Behan books his ticket to Olympics


After enduring an agonising wait, Kieran Behan's place at the London Olympic Games was finally confirmed yesterday by the Federation of International Gymnastics.

Behan becomes the first Irish gymnast to qualify for the Games, although Barry McDonald competed at Atlanta '96 as a wildcard entrant.

The 22-year-old London-born gymnast seemed to have scored highly enough across six different disciplines in Tuesday night's qualifiers at the O2 arena, but a complex placing system meant his berth at the Games wasn't definite until the final announcement was made yesterday.

An overjoyed Behan said: "My trainer Simon (Gale) and I were up in our hotel room when we got a call to say I'd made it through and we just started jumping around the place crying in celebration."

Entering the final round on the vault on Tuesday, Behan still had it all to do, but he scored an excellent 14.933 in his ultimate routine to book his place in this summer's Games.

His achievement is all the more impressive as he was told twice in his younger years that he wouldn't be able to walk again following ill health.

Having recorded the sixth highest score on the floor in Tuesday's qualifiers, he'll now compete in this evening's 'London Prepares' test event at the O2.

Irish Independent

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