In flying form - Emma reaches new heights

Galway's Emma Slevin is continuing to break new ground in her gymnastics career.

At the weekend she made history in Ireland when she became the first female to reach the finals at the European Gymnastics Championships in Switzerland.

The 17-years-old went on to claim 19th place in the all-around final, producing a superb performance and improving her ranking.

A member of the Renmore Gymnastics Club, Emma secured an overall score of 50.432 in qualifying in Basel, and then went on to finish 19th of 106 gymnasts from 38 countries.

"I'm absolutely delighted with that performance as well as qualification," she told RTE. "Qualifying in 22nd position and finishing in 19th position is something I’m really, really proud of.

"Overall, I am just delighted with that performance. Being with the best gymnasts in the world, overall it is just an amazing experience.

"Seeing how the top athletes work - it is very inspiring to say I competed alongside them. I know what I need to work on when I go back to my gym, obviously there are improvements still that I can make, and it is just very, very motivating to know that I am in with the best in Europe.

"It was enjoyable out there. I thought nerves would take over, but it was honestly very, very enjoyable for me."

Emma, who is currently self-isolating after her European exploits, says growing self confidence has been a "game changer" for her.

"I think I have discovered a lot of self-confidence this year and that has just helped me phenomenally as you can see from my results.

"I would like to thank everyone for supporting me, for any gymnast coming up who is hoping to make a difference in gymnastics in Ireland, just stay focused, stay motivated, do what you can."

No stranger to breaking frontiers, Emma was named Rising Star of the Year by Gymnastics Ireland in 2018, and was selected to represent Ireland at the 2018 Youth Olympics, becoming the first Irish female gymnast to do so. On that occasion she was flag bearer for Ireland at the opening ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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