'Never give up' - Galway's Emma Slevin's advice to aspiring gymnasts after her fourth Youth Olympics final

'Never give up' - Galway's Emma Slevin's advice to aspiring gymnasts after her fourth Youth Olympics final

Galway's Emma Slevin has finished fifth in the balance beam finals at the Youth Olympic Games with a score of 11.800.

Team Ireland's golfers, Lauren Crowley Walsh and David Kitt, finished tied for 13th in the Mixed Team, with six-over in the Four-Ball Stroke Play, joint fifth in the Foursomes and a tied for 24th overall in the Cumulative Play.

The 15-year-old from Renmore Gymnastics Club surpassed all expectations to feature in four finals, before finishing in fifth on her last day of competition last night.

It wasn’t Slevin’s best result in the beam, after her personal best in qualifying, but it was enough to secure fifth on the night, and she said afterwards: “It went okay, it definitely wasn’t my best routine, but it wasn’t my worst, and I’m really happy with the result.

"I’m absolutely wrecked, I’m sure everyone else is the same. It’s just such a tiring way to do a competition.

"None of us have ever done this format before, but it wasn’t too bad. I got over it, and I got to the end, so I’m happy. I still can’t believe it now so it will sink in soon, and I can believe it then. I think it will be an amazing feeling, I’ll never forget this.”

Resilient Slevin came through a long week of competition, including a foot injury that she suffered in the warm-up for the vault, and came out stronger.

She gave a message to young upcoming gymnasts, saying: “If you are struggling, like me with my foot injury the last day, I got through it and I got to the end and I came fifth on beam – it just shows you should never give up and keep pushing.”

After their overall result yesterday, golfer David Kitt said: “I guess today probably wasn’t our best day on the course, we didn’t get off to the fast start that we were looking for, but that’s how golf goes.

"We didn’t really hole on the greens, we really struggled and didn’t get many of the drops. Overall, we got off to a good start on the first few days, and it was today that let us down.”

This week’s event presented a new concept for the golfers, combining the Four-Bally Stroke Play, Foursomes and Cumulative Play in a team event.

Kitt said: “It was really good, something new, I’ve never played it before, so it was great. The first few days especially we played really well and gelled nicely as a partnership. Unfortunately, today we didn’t play great, but the first two days were really good.”

'Never give up' - Galway's Emma Slevin's advice to aspiring gymnasts after her fourth Youth Olympics final

The duo said they enjoyed the golf course, which was different to what they were used to.

Kitt said: “The grass firstly is really different, not used to it in Ireland. The first few days it took us a bit of time to adjust to it, because it’s so different.

"On the course the green is really small, at home they are small but not this small. If you are a fraction out you are really penalised, so you have to be really precise with your shots. Overall, it’s an enjoyable course, and it was nice to play it.”

It’s been a long week for Walsh from Castlewarden, Dublin and Kitt from Athenry Golf Club, and both have enjoyed the experience.

“It’s been a brilliant week,” said Walsh, “you get to play against the best players in the world, and to see where you are against them. It’s nice to play with some really good players, and you learn from them. I guess you get to see where the gaps are in your game, and where you can improve.”

Last week Walsh was playing in a group with US teen sensation, Lucy Li, who was playing as a Professional when she was 12 as well as the Argentinian player, which gathered a lot of attention.

She enjoyed the extra crowds, saying: “That was really fun, we had a lot of crowds out that day, Lucy is the top-ranked girl here this week, and the Argentinian girl had all the local support out.

"It’s good to get used to playing in front of a crowd, we don’t build great crowds for tournaments at home, it’s good to get the experience out here.”

In the Women’s Hammer Throw 3kg, Team Ireland's Miranda Tcheuthchoua climbed one place to 14th after her second day of competition, with a score of 106.60.

Day ten of the Youth Olympic Games will see Dean Clancy and Dearbhla Rooney in action in the men’s and women’s flyweight category’s respectively with Miriam Daly racing in the second stage of the women’s 400m hurdles.

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