Gymnastics: Slevin and Steele deliver as Ireland’s first European all-around finalists

Emma Slevin nailed a clean competition and finished 19th in the Women’s All-Around European Final
Gymnastics: Slevin and Steele deliver as Ireland’s first European all-around finalists

Gymnast Emma Slevin improved her ranking from qualifications, as she nailed a clean competition and finished 19th in the Women’s All-Around European Final on Friday.

The 17-year-old made history on Thursday by becoming the first Irish female gymnast to qualify for a senior all-around final at the European Gymnastics Championships in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Adam Steele also saw an excellent competition aside from a stumble on the vault, and finished in 21st position with an all-around total of 76.730.

Ireland's Emma Slevin. Photo: INPHO/Claudio Thoma.

Slevin, with an all-around total of 49.833, told RTÉ: “I’m absolutely delighted with that performance as well as qualification. Qualifying in 22nd position and finishing in 19th position after today is something I’m really, really proud of.

“Being with the best gymnasts in the world, overall it is just an amazing experience. Seeing how the top athletes work — it is very inspiring to say I competed alongside them.”

Speaking after the results, chief executive of Gymnastics Ireland Ciaran Gallagher said the performance of Irish competitors for the first time in both the men's and women's finals was a “great day for our sport”.

“Emma and Adam displayed quality performances as part of Europe's best. Their results represent a superb achievement for them both personally but also gives all the young gymnasts following in their footsteps... great role models to follow as all-around gymnasts," he said.

Ireland's Adam Steele. Photo: INPHO/Claudio Thoma.

Sally Johnson, Gymnastics Ireland performance and technical manager, said it was a “very proud Europeans for Ireland.”

“These all-around finals for both Emma and Adam are the first time we have made the finals and shows the remarkable work & commitment they have put in to produce these great qualification performances,” she said.

Friday also saw Irish competitor Rhys McClenaghan presented with the Smartscoring Shooting Star Award, which "aims to put a gymnast with an exceptional story in the spotlight, someone who is an inspiration for the future generation of gymnasts and the general public alike".

McClenaghan will compete in the Pommel Horse Top-8 Final tomorrow, Saturday April 24th from 1pm to 3.15pm (Irish time) live on RTÉ One.

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