The excitement in the Gymnastics Ireland London 2012 Prepares Series delegation is tangible, gymnast Kieran Behan, coach Simon Gale and Performance and Technical Manager Sally Filmer sit in the stands scoping out the competition just a few hours ahead of when Kieran will take to the arena. He seems calm,cool and collected. He is taking everything around him in and looks every bit of the professional gymnast. Sally tells me how Ireland’s only gymnast in the Test Event has been doing since finding out he was eligible to compete in this competition. Kieran was in a similar position to the Great British men’s team, some his own club mates, who spent hours training and preparing most days over Christmas and New Years.
Both coach and gymnast have put many hours of effort into preparing him for today’s event as well as his new sponsors Stoi Athletic wear who have kitted the delegation out for the competition. Many of you will know that Irish gymnasts must fund their own trips abroad, Kieran is no stranger to doing so. Any sponsorship or help with funding means a lot to an Irish gymnast.
“It really felt good to be wearing the near gear supplied by Stoi, and I really appreicate having the medical support also from Osteopath Chris Pinches who is keeping me fit and functioning well.”
Kieran participated in Podium Training on Sunday evening at his biggest event ever. The gymnast missed out on the 2009 World Championships here in the O2 due to injury. He got to grips with the equipment and his new surroundings. Being so close to home, only an hours flight away from the capital city Dublin may help Behan who has not had to acclimatise or be affected by jet lag, aside from that he resides in the UK for training. He may also have comfort in the fact that club mates Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings will be competing in the same subdivision as him. Luckily it’s only a short trip across the water for his friend and family to come and support him in his home away from home:
“The o2 arena is really impressive and feels great to be on the podium. Really looking forward to performing my routines tomorrow. It feels great to be in London so close to Ireland where I have so many family and friends coming to support me”
Behan, known as a floor specialist will be hoping to prove that he is not just that when he performs in the All Around competition later this evening, hoping to grab one of 24 individual spots available. He has received wonderful comments from the Gymnastics Examiner, who mainly concentrates on WAG. A comparison between Behan and 2004 Olympic Gold Floor medallist Kyle Shewfelt was drawn by Gymnastics Coaching editor Rick Mc Charles, something which Kieran was delighted with.
How will he do? Only time will tell, we’re 15 minutes away from competition.
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