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Irish gymnast Andrew Smith retires from competing

28th February 2019, 11:28am | National

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28th February 2019, Sport HQ, Dublin, Ireland: Irish senior gymnast and World Cup finalist Andrew Smith has announced his retirement from the sport.

The 27-year-old gymnast is retiring after 22 years of dedication to the sport. Smith made his International senior debut competing for Ireland in 2012 when he was 21. Since then, he has attended five World Championships, five European Championships and multiple World Cup finals. His best performance took place in the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium where he achieved the highest execution in the world on Floor placing 13th. Andrew became the 4th best in the World Cup circuit on Floor during his high-performance career and was crowned the Floor champion during the Northern Europeans in 2015.

Speaking of his retirement, senior gymnast Andrew Smith said: ‘I’ve had 6 great years of competing internationally as part of the Irish team and made memories and friends that will last a lifetime. Despite a surgery I was unable to build up to an all-around competition in 2017 or 2018 which was always my goal, but I am very thankful for the full support of Gymnastics Ireland and the Sport Ireland Institute for the support of my treatment.

My advice for younger gymnasts would be to always enjoy your sport and never give up. I look back to when I was a younger gymnast and in those years I enjoyed a lot of success as I began to grow. I had a lot of small injuries and some personal setbacks and I didn’t have that same feeling of success and accomplishment until I was 21 and began to compete internationally for Ireland. There was a gap of about 8/9 years between these 2 points, but it was the enjoyment and persistence in my training that got me to the point where I could go compete at the highest levels.’

Gymnastics Ireland’s CEO Mr. Ciaran Gallagher commented ‘Andrew has been one of the key gymnasts who has elevated the standard and reputation of Irish performances internationally. At the same time he has been a superb role model for our upcoming gymnastsand helped create a really great team culture within the Gymnastics Ireland performance system. Thank-you Andrew for having such a positive impact on our sport both in Ireland and internationally. We have no doubt that Andrews impact on our sport long term will continue as he takes up his new role in Douglas GC and look forward to seeing his continued growth in the sport as a coach’

Sally Johnson, Gymnastics Ireland’s Performance and Technical Manager added: ‘Andrew achieved some fantastic results for Ireland on the international stage. He has been a great team member and an asset to Gymnastics Ireland and I would like to wish him all the very best in his new career as a coach in Douglas Gymnastics Club.’

Andrew continues to work as a coach for Douglas Gymnastics Club in Cork his former gymnastics club, in the Men’s Artistic programme as a way of continuing the support of Irish gymnasts coming through the national system.

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