By Ethne Tierney
Galway gymnast Emma Slevin was a part of history in Basel, as she finished 19th in the European Championships all-around finals, making her the first female athlete to take part in a final for an Olympic qualifier event.
17-year-old Slevin, from Renmore Gymnastics Club in Galway, performed admirably on the continental stage to achieve an All-Around total of 49.833, seeing her break into the top 20 at the event.
Slevin had not competed in 18 months due to Covid-19. but she managed to get a final score of 50.432 in the previous round to see her through into the finals. Such a score saw the exciting young talent compete in the All-Around Final as one of Europe’s best late last month.
Speaking on the achievement of qualification for the finals Ciaran Gallagher, CEO of Gymnastics Ireland commented: “A superb day for women’s gymnastics in Ireland! Emma’s performance cements her position as one of the best All-Around gymnasts in Europe and again a history maker as our first senior AA women’s finalist.”
Slevin competed alongside first reserve for Tokyo 2021, Meg Ryan who competed in three of the four apparatuses in Women’s artistic gymnastics. The successful performance on these championships did not come easy to Slevin, who is still only a teenager.
Competition and progress are one of the main motivations for athletes. Slevin, however, has no major competition nationally, showing her determination and strong will to advance. During the pandemic training became a challenge with all the restrictions in place and the halt of any international competition.
A statement from Gymnastics Ireland extended congratulations to both Slevin and Ryan on their achievements in qualification.
“On behalf of everyone at Gymnastics Ireland huge congratulations to Emma & Meg, their coaches Sally Batley & Emma Hamill and our Performance & Technical Manager Sally Johnson,” they said.