By Peter Atencio
Filipino American gymnast Aleah Finnegan became the third Filipino athlete to qualify for next year’s Paris Olympics.
The 20-year-old Finnegan earn a seat to the Olympiad on Tuesday following the outcome of her campaign in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.
Finnegan was one of the 14 highest-ranked eligible gymnasts after the women’s all-around event ended.
She compiled a total of 51.366 points at the end of Finnegan’s routines on four apparatus.
First, Finnegan scored 13.400 on the vault, and then tallied 12.433 on the bars, 12.700 on the balance beam, and 12.833 on the floor exercise to place 32nd among 117 competitors.
Finnegan, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, gets to join fellow gymnast Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena in the Philippine delegation that’s being assembled by Team Philippines for Paris next year.
“Just to be here, honoring my family, the Philippines, and honoring my dad who’s in heaven, and all the people who put in so many sacrifices for me to be here, is really just a dream come true,” said Finnegan in a statement.
Back in 2021, Finnegan tried and failed to make it to the US national squad after she missed the US Olympic trials.
But things changed when the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines offered her a chance to represent the country in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games.