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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 9 July, 2020

If you thought Richie Hogan's feet were bad, wait until you see this top Irish gymnast's hands

Kieran Behan’s hands were in a state this weekend.

Kieran Behan's hands are in bits after this weekend's action.
Kieran Behan's hands are in bits after this weekend's action.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

OLYMPIAN KIERAN BEHAN will carry Ireland’s biggest hope at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow next month after leading them to 11 medals at the Northern European Gymnastics Championships.

It was the biggest Irish medal haul at that level and Behan showed timely good form because the World Championships (October 23-November 1) are gymnastics’ main qualifying event for next year’s Rio Olympics, though there will be one additional smaller qualifying event in 2016.

His hands, however, have seen better days:

The Northern Europeans, which took place in Limerick last weekend, were the final Irish trial for ‘Worlds’ and Gymnastics Ireland have selected a team of six to travel.

Cork-based Andy Smith (Douglas CS) and teenager Jack Neill who trains alongside Behan, will join him in Scotland while Ellis O’Reilly, Tara Donnelly and Ulster’s Nicole Mawhinney make up the women’s team.

O’Reilly (17), a London schoolgirl whose grandparents hail from Armagh, also caught the eye at Northern Europeans with a personal haul of three silver medals.

She was runner up in the all-round competition and in the individual beam contest and also led the Irish women to a team silver.

Behan won silver in the allround, gold on floor and silver on rings and led a promising young Irish team, including rising Ulster junior Rhys McClenaghan (16), to an unprecedented team gold.


Northern European Artistic Gymnastics Championships at University of Limerick.
Men’s Individual Allround – 1 S Skerahaug (Nor) 83.5pts, 2 K Behan (Irl) 82.9, 3 A Smith (Irl) 81.95.
Women’s Individual Allround – 1 L Bevan (Wales) 52.05, 2 E O’Reilly (Irl) 51.9, 3 J Ruckley (Wales) 51.2.
Men’s Team – 1 Ireland 248.8, 2 Norway 246.3, 3 Finland 235, 4 Sweden 230.2, 5 Denmark 203, 6 Iceland 200, 7 Wales 170, 8 Isle of Man 100, 9 Faroe Islands 99.9.
Women’s Team – 1 Wales 156 pts, 2 Ireland 152.9, 3 Iceland 150.3, 4 Denmark 148.2, 5 Scotland 147.1, 6 Norway 142.3, 7 Finland 136.5, 8 Faroe Islands 91.75, 9 Isle of Man 75.6.

Individual Apparatus

Floor – 1 K Behan (Irl) 14.5, 2 C Soos (Swe) 14.4, 3 P Giachino (Nor) 13.975.
Rings – 1 S Skerahaug (Nor) 13.7, 2 K Behan (Irl) 13.2, 3 M Trane (Swe) 13.0.
Pommel – 1 J Davies (Wal) 14.2, 2J Kanerva (Fin) 13.6, 3 R McClenaghan (Irl) 13.6.
Parallel Bars – 1 S Skerahaug (Nor) 14.3, 2 A Smith (Irl) 14.2, 3 M Conradi (Nor) 13.5.
High Bar – 1 S Skerahaug (Nor) 13.5, 2 K Hiva (Fin) 13.02, 3 M Trane (Swe) 13.00.
Vault – 1 WE Soravuo (Fin) 13.8, 2 A Lamberg (Fin) 13.6, 3 E Orn Baldursson (Icel) 13.2.

Floor – 1 L Bevan (Wal) 13.5, 2 L McColgan (Sco) 13.2, I Sazonova (Icel) 13.1.
Beam – 1 L Bevan (Wa) 13.0, 2 E O’Reilly (Irl) 12.8, 3 M Skammelson (Den) 12.7.
Bars – 1 I Sazonova (Icel) 13.3, 2 J Ruckley (Wal) 13.1, 3 C Bell (Irl) 12.6.
Vault – 1 N Robertsdottir (Icel) 13.7, 2 S Bergpersdottir (Icel) 13.7, 3 M Skammelsen (Den) 13.6.

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Cliona Foley

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