A WHALEY Bridge gymnast has played a key role in earning the Great Britain women’s team Olympic qualification.
Jennifer Pinches, 17, has been part of a six-strong women’s team competing in the World Championships in Tokyo over the last two weeks.
Her GB team came fifth in the world event, their best-ever result, which now sees them begin to compete with the traditional powerhouses of the sport, America, Russia and China, who took the podium places.
“Tokyo was all about gaining qualification for the Olympics and I am delighted to have played a part in earning the team a guaranteed place,” said Jennifer, a student at King’s School’s Sixth Form in Macclesfield,
“However, if I am keep my place in the team, I will have to stay fit over the next nine months and be at the very top of my game.”
Jennifer has been training for 11 years, combining outstanding academic results and a fledgling acting career with 30 hours training under top GB coach Amanda Reddin in Liverpool.
There she works with Britain’s best-ever women’s gymnast, Beth Tweddle, and fellow rising star Hannah Whelan.
Despite an almost full-time gymnastic career, Jennifer gained an A and two Bs in her AS Levels and will be taking English Language and Psychology A2 levels just before the Olympics.
She has also been talent spotted by leading theatrical casting agents and directors and will have a tough choice ahead of her after the London games.
She said: “My focus is wholeheartedly on the London Olympics and after then I will make a decision about my future in gymnastics, acting and/or going to university.”
Her proud father Ian, who has supported her throughout her rise in the sport, added: “We could not be more proud of Jennifer.
“She has worked unbelievably hard and to see her competing on the world stage and now hopefully at the Olympics will be a dream fulfilled for all the family.”