Thursday 14 December 2017

Behan defies odds to gain ticket to another Games

Kieran Behan of Ireland during a training sessionl. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Kieran Behan of Ireland during a training sessionl. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

At the London Olympics in 2012, Croydon-born Kieran Behan became Ireland's second ever Olympian in gynmastics.

While he didn't make it out of the heats, the fact that he actually made it to the Games was a remarkable achievement in its own right.

At the age of ten, a benign tumour was found in his leg and complications from the surgical operation to remove the tumour left him in a wheelchair. But just 15 months later Behan returned to training.

However, soon after his return he fell off the high bar during a training session and suffered a head injury which resulted in a brain injury and damage to his inner year.

He was again confined to a wheelchair but within three years he was back training!

He missed out on an individual medal at the European Games in Baku last summer but proved his resilience last spring when qualified for the Rio Games at the Rio test event in the HSBC Barra Olympic Arena. He competes today at 2.30.

Meanwhile, Mayo native Nicholas Quinn makes his Olympic debut in Heat 2 of the 100m breaststroke this evening (7.0).

Since moving to study psychology at the University of Edinburgh, he was made his breakthrough in international swimming but his favoured event is the 200m breaststroke.

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