Commonwealth vault finalist Ewan McAteer from Lisburn is applauded for performance

Northern Ireland’s vaulting champion has been lauded in his home city after the Commonwealth Games final.

Ewan McAteer of Northern Ireland competes on the horizontal bar during the Gymnastics Artistic Men's Team event on day one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on April 5, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Ewan McAteer of Northern Ireland competes on the horizontal bar during the Gymnastics Artistic Men's Team event on day one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on April 5, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Northern Ireland’s vaulting champion has been lauded in his home city after the Commonwealth Games final.

Lisburn native, Ewan McAteer (22) finished sixth in the vault discipline on Tuesday afternoon at the Birmingham event.

Dental student, McAteer held the hopes of the team entering the Commonwealth Games after winning Gold on the apparatus at the recent Northern European Championships in Cardiff.

However, it was not meant to be as England’s Jake Jarman took the Gold.

Killutagh councillor, Thomas Beckett who sits on the council’s sports committee, praised the efforts of the local gymnast who had faced controversy when previously banned from the competition.

“This is a great achievement for young Ewan, who will now have a great platform to advance on to the Olympics,” said Cllr Beckett.

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The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) had banned McAteer together with two other gymnasts, Rhys McClenaghan (22) from Newtonards and Belfast teenager Eamon Montgomery from competing in the Commonwealth Games.

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It stated that gymnasts must have a valid FIG license of the national federation they represent, suggesting it does not consider an Irish licence valid to represent Northern Ireland.

Though the decision was later overturned following political pressure.

“I know all of three of the gymnasts and they are all hard working young men.

“Ewan is already a great role model for young boys and girls coming up through the sport.

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“He is a credit to himself and everyone in Lisburn.

“It was a great achievement to even reach the final and we can only speculate as to what might have happened had the three gymnasts not faced the ban from the FIG.

“Lisburn had been the European CIty of Sport in 2013 and since then we have progressed with a gymnastic centre of excellence for Northern Ireland.

“With the great achievements of the likes of Ewan we face a bright future that we must continue to support young sports people as a council,” added the councillor.

Donal McMahon , Local Democracy Reporting Service