Three 18 Hour Journeys for Behan

9:15 PM

Irish superstar Kieran Behan faced three lots of flights, all eighteen hours long in his quest to compete at the Zibo World Cup today and tomorrow according to the article on Independent News Ireland. The full article which you can read below and at the link (http://www.independent.ie/national-news/olympic-gymnast-had-to-take-three-18hour-journeys-after-visa-blunder-3073376.html) details how Gymnastics Ireland has taken full responsibility for the administrative error which that saw Behan and his coach refused entry to China meaning that Kieran missed five days of crucial training in the lead up to the World Cup. Eventually the error was fixed and Behan and his coach, Demetrios Bradshaw are in China hoping for a successful competition. Best of luck to them!

AN OLYMPIC gymnast was forced to make three 18-hour trips between China and London after being refused entry to the country as a result of a visa error.
Last night, Gymnastics Ireland admitted that it was to blame for the administrative oversight, which saw Kieran Behan miss out on five days of crucial training.
The 22-year-old, who is based in Surrey, became just the second Irish gymnast ever to qualify for the Olympic Games last January.
He has already overcome impossible odds in reaching the pinnacle of his sport, having been left wheelchair-bound for months as a child after suffering a tumour in his leg, and then overcoming a brain injury in a fall while training.
His incredible rise continued as he was invited to take part in a prestigious event in the Chinese city of Zibo this week.
But when he and his coach Demetrios Bradshaw landed inBeijing on Saturday, they were refused entry to the country by officials.
Within an hour, both of them were on a flight back toHeathrow airport.
"It was a farce; the Chinese border guards took one look at their documents and told them they had to return to the point of origin immediately. Whoever was responsible for booking the tickets and visas in Dublin made a monumental error. It was the world's biggest cock-up," said a member of Mr Behan's backroom team.
The furious gymnast and his coach returned to London on Sunday afternoon after an 18-hour journey and immediately arranged a meeting with the Chinese embassy.
ShambolicEventually, the correct visas were issued, and Gymnastics Ireland paid for new flights to China at a cost of thousands of euro.
On Tuesday night, Mr Behan left on another flight for Beijing, and on arrival on Wednesday, he was allowed to enter the country.
"By the time he was let into China, he'd missed five days of proper training because of this shambolic series of events. Kieran and everyone involved with him feel very let down by this and we just wonder how Gymnastics Ireland could have got it so wrong," said the source.
"This is a major event, which includes the very best floor specialists in world gymnastics.
"Being there is a dream for Kieran and a proud moment for Ireland, but now he has to cram in whatever training he can in just a few days. It's ridiculous... and a very costly lesson for the Irish governing body."
Ciaran Gallagher, CEO of Gymnastics Ireland last night said that the body "fully accepts responsibility for what was a serious administrative error concerning the provision of a visa for Kieran Behan to compete in the upcoming World Cup event in Zibo city".
"Since learning of the situation, all of our energies have been directed towards rectifying the error and securing a visa to allow Kieran to compete. We are pleased that this is now in place and we were able to make suitable travel arrangements to allow Kieran and his coach to travel back to Beijing," he added.
"We fully acknowledge that the error should never have happened and we will be carrying out a full investigation both to establish the facts and to ensure nothing like this can happen again," he added.

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