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'I'll come back stronger' - Kieran Behan

The Irish gymnast broke down in tears after a disappointing performance this morning.

Behan breaks down.
Behan breaks down.
Image: INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

AN EMOTIONAL KIERAN Behan couldn’t hold back the tears as he explained how emotions had got the better of him at his first Olympic appearance this morning.

The 22-year-old gymnast, who has made a remarkable journey to the Games after suffering brain damage and being told he would never walk again as boy, took to the floor at the O2.

He scored 13.966 after two slips, meaning a place in the floor final is beyond him while he suffered further disappointment in the vault.

Afterwards, Behan told RTE Sport that was completely overawed by the whole occasion.

“It didn’t go to plan,” he said. “Today was one of the strangest days of my life. I woke up and all the emotions throughout my whole life impacted today.

“I still went out there with a smile and did my best. It’s a miracle to be here. I have such wonderful family, friends and support.

When I walked out and spotted my parents it called just came out of me. I never thought I would get here. I thought I would be in a wheelchair.”

Despite admitting that he hadn’t done himself justice, Behan insists the whole experience will make him stronger going forward.

“I’ve been through a lot worse and I’m a fighter, I’m going to come back and be even better. Obviously we’re all disappointed that I wasn’t able to hit it today. But to have got there and be able to hold my hand up today is an absolute dream.

“To think a few years ago I was told I had brain damage and told that this is it for you and you will never get out of a wheelchair. I’m going to come back stronger.”

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Ben Blake

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