Gymnast Ryan aims to land in record books

Ryan Luney. INCT 07-011-PSB
Ryan Luney. INCT 07-011-PSB

A Carrickfergus student has landed a world record after successfully completing a difficult gymnastics move for the second time.

Ryan Luney, 20, made his first attempt at the longest reverse vault back in February this year.

His efforts were recorded and sent to the Guinness Book of Records for verification.

However, organisers stipulated that the complicated manoeuvre had to be repeated under more stringent guidelines.

“Basically I did not use a land surveyor to take the measurements accurately, therefore they took my previous measurements as inaccurate,” explained Ryan.

The Ulster University student took a second run at the feat on June 22, leaping an amazing distance of 14 feet and 3.8 inches.

He was assisted this time around by chartered surveyor Paul McCabe, managing director of Belfast firm Six West Ltd. “He volunteered to help verify my attempt, therefore I owe him so much as to its success,” Ryan added.

“I also owe my success to the coaches who gave up their time and their equipment to allow me to attempt the record again, which was completed in Carrickfergus Gymnastics and Tumbling Club.

“I especially owe Priscilla Stirling, who is head coach of the gymnastics, and also verified that I completed the move correctly, and to those who acted as witnesses - Judi Caldwell and Barbara Wilson and also Gayle Patterson, Laura Thompson, and Jennifer McIlwaine, who acted as witnesses to my first attempt at the record.”

Ryan has since received a certificate confirming his gymnastic feat, with hopes of making it into the official print copy of the Guinness book.

Many thousands of entries are considered for the publication each year. “You have to send away photos of your attempt and they consider you, so it’s not a definite, but fingers crossed that they accept my record to be placed into the book,” Ryan said.

A long-time volunteer with Carrickfergus Gymnastics Club, Ryan recently competed in Ninja Warrior series 3, which premiers in January 2017.

He is also the drummer of the band Chicago Typewriter, who are playing the ‘Clash of The Newbreeds/ Battle of the Bands’ on November 5 at Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre.