Team Ireland gymnasts finish competition at EYOF Maribor 2023

26th July 2023, 21:38p.m. | International

Maribor, Slovenia; Team Ireland gymnasts James Hickey, Maeve McGuinness, and Mimi Maloney today concluded competition at the 2023 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Maribor.

Hickey ranked 45th in the boys Pommel individual event, while the junior women’s duo finished in 19th place in the team category but scoring higher as a team than EYOF in 2022.

About his experience, gymnast James Hickey said, "My first experience of a major international gymnastics competition has been a blast. It was everything I could have imagined and more. Definitely worth the years of hard work, it is an amazing journey to be on. I would encourage everyone to set this competition in their sights. I've learnt so much from this experience and truely believe we can do anything we want if we have a desire, a plan, a great support team and the commitment to work hard. I will always remember this youth Olympic experience. It was fantastic meeting all like minded athletes, coaches and officials from lots of different sports, backgrounds and countries. Hvala Slovenija!".

James' coach, Hugo Lopes de Oliveira added, “For great achievements we need to have great learning opportunities. And James had this opportunity and did his job in the best way possible, I'm very happy with his performance and I'm sure he'll go home even more committed for the next competition.”

In the individual all-around events McGuinness ranked 40th with a 44.700, while teammate Maloney ranked 34th with a 45.200. Reflecting on the experience, gymnast Maeve McGuinness said, "I was happy with vault, and competing two vaults to hopefully make the final! Vault made me feel better about the rest of the competition and gave me confidence. Really felt supported!”. Teammate Mimi Maloney added, “I was pretty happy as this was one of my first big international competitions, and vault was a good event to start to give me a bit of confidence. I think I enjoyed floor most today. I was also pretty happy with beam, as it was a clean routine. After each of our routines, Maeve and I could hear both our families cheering and that was very helpful.”

Personal Coach of Maeve, Colm Murray said; “Very mature solid performances under pressure from gymnasts today knowing both scores had to count on all apparatuses. Coaches and gymnasts are all very happy with their achievements today.”

Speaking from Maribor Slovenia, Gymnastics Ireland’s Women’s National Performance Coach, Sandra Stevenson added, “Very proud of all the gymnasts, delivering clean competitions for team Ireland. Maeve delivering upgrades and using her experience to help guide the team. Mimi and James putting in strong performances for their first-time representing Ireland at this level on the international stage. Thank you to personal coaches Hugo, Colm, Tash & Emma for doing a great job preparing the gymnasts.”

Commenting on the event, Gymnastics Ireland’s CEO Ciaran Gallagher said, “Great experience and learnings banked by James, Mimi and Meave this week at EYOF. This event represents the first multi-sport environment experience for most young Olympic athletes and is a crucial event on the pathway towards a senior career. They all return home with much to be proud of! Huge congrats also to our coaching team Hugo & Colm plus Team Lead Sandra & physio JulieAnne!”

Full results of EYOF 2023 are available at

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