Back in 2012, here on SportsNewsIreland we brought you news of some remarkable performances from Kieran Behan, before and during the Olympic Games.
This week in Sofia, Kieran and his Irish colleagues will again be in action but first let us look back at the performances of the Irish senior women’s team have placed 19th in the 2014 European Team Championships at the Armeec Arena in Sofia and in doing so secured qualification for the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku. Some excellent work too from the Junior squad and in particularly young Casey Bell.
After a strong showing on vault & bars the Senior girls were unlucky to carry some falls on beam and floor that prevented a higher team rank.
This result is also very encouraging for the upcoming 2014 World Championships, the first stage of qualification for the Rio Olympic Games.
The Senior Elite team: Ellis O’Reilly, Sarah Beck, Ciara Roberts, India McPeak, Nicole Mawhinney
Meanwhile Casey Bell rounded off a solid showing for Ireland’s women at the Championships. In qualifying for the Junior All-Around finals on Wednesday last, Casey proved that Irish female gymnasts are now breaking into the elite levels of the European scene. Hitting four routines for four, she posted a score of 49.906 and improved on her qualification position to finish in 22nd place all around.
Sally Filmer, Gymnastics Ireland Performance & Technical Manager commented:
‘A great week for the women’s programme and the first time we have qualified a junior and senior team for the European championships. It is great to see the developing success of Gymnastics Ireland with the senior girls qualifying for the European Games in 2015 and our very first women’s junior all around finalist. It is great to see gymnastics in Ireland continuing to move forward, it is clear that the support and hard work put in by all our gymnasts and coaches and is leading to success.
Casey demonstrated that she is a very focused and determined character in both qualification and final rounds, performing solid routines and showing great potential for the future to develop to senior level and hopefully follow in Kieran Behan’s footsteps’
National Performance Coach, Kim Kensett-Friar commented…
‘On the whole we are incredibly proud of the girls, the qualification for European Games in Baku is a major achievement for Ireland. Casey also showed she can compete with the best in Europe, in what was her first major international competition. The girls must now take this experience home, use it to build and keep pushing onwards and upwards’
Ger Rellis, President Gymnastics Ireland finished off congratulating the team by saying…
‘In 2012 Kieran Behan put Gymnastics Ireland on the map with his qualification for the London Olympics. It is great to see that our women’s junior & senior teams are doing the same and in particular Casey’s fantastic performance demonstrates that the Gymnastics Ireland high-performance system is now producing consistent international results across all of our gymnastics disciplines. Congratulations to the full team’.