Douglas Gymnastic Club's Meg Ryan and Emma Hamill are off to the Olympics

Leeside duo have been selected to fly to Tokyo later this month
Douglas Gymnastic Club's Meg Ryan and Emma Hamill are off to the Olympics

Team Ireland's Meg Ryan, from Douglas, Cork, competing in the women's artistic gymnastics at the European Youth Olympic Festival 2017. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

MEG Ryan will fly the flag for Cork and Douglas Gymnastics Club at the Olympics.

The gifted young Corkonian has been selected by the International Gymnastics Federation and the Olympic Federation of Ireland to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

She joins European gold and world bronze medallist Rhys McClenaghan in the Team Ireland squad at Tokyo at the end of the month. Emma Hamill's inclusion as one of the coaches means there are two Douglas GC members boarding the plane in two weeks.

Ryan, whose father Aidan was a county-winning hurler with Blackrock and whose father Fergal is a former Cork captain, has progressed through the restructured Gymnastics Ireland High-Performance system now based at the Sport Ireland Campus. 

Meg Ryan, Douglas Gymnastics Club, with her father Aidan Ryan at the 2019 Echo Women in Sport Awards. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Meg Ryan, Douglas Gymnastics Club, with her father Aidan Ryan at the 2019 Echo Women in Sport Awards. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Ryan, a previous recipient of a prestigious Echo Women in Sport award, will compete in the Women's All-Around event on Sunday, July 25. 

“I’m delighted. It was a long wait for me but it feels amazing to finally get the confirmation," she said.  "I’ve worked really hard so I can’t wait to get out there now.” 

Hamill and Ryan have worked side by side for a number of years. 

"I’ve known and worked with Meg since she was a very young gymnast," said the former Gymnastics Ireland Young Coach of the Year. 

Her work ethic and dedication are a credit to herself, her club and her country. She is a dedicated, hardworking athlete and is deserving of the honour of calling herself an Olympian."

Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher said: "After a very difficult year it is superb to see our gymnasts officially join Team Ireland. 

"Huge congratulations to Meg in booking her place to Tokyo alongside Rhys. It has been a huge amount of work for both gymnasts to get to this point in addition to their coaches Emma and Luke. 

"It is also excellent to see that the GI High-Performance system, led by our P&T Manager Sally Johnson, is working and has been able to facilitate these talented gymnasts in booking their places to Tokyo. 

"There has been a huge amount of work and investment by Gymnastics Ireland & Sport Ireland in restructuring/building our HP system over the last number of years/cycles. Rhys and Meg stepping out into the arena in Tokyo in a few weeks will only serve as motivation for the many talented young gymnasts on our national squad who are looking to follow in their footsteps. 

Gymnastics Ireland's performance and technical manager, Sally Johnson added: "It has been an incredible journey to these Olympic Games. 

"Coaches Luke and Emma have worked extremely hard in preparing Rhys and Meg for these Games starting from their very first session at a young age on the Irish Squad program, both following through to compete in the Youth Olympic Games, Junior Europeans and leading into the Senior program representing Ireland in World Cups, European Championships and World Championships.

"A special mention to Sport Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute for all the support provided in the gymnastics program. For the gymnasts, coaches and their families, myself and the Gymnastics Ireland team, it is a very proud selection. We are looking forward to finally travelling to the Games and I wish the very best of luck and a great experience for all."

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