Norwich gymnast Emily Crowe ready to embark on Olympic adventure

A Norwich schoolgirl is set to compete at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival next month as part of the Team GB Gymnastics squad.

Emily Crowe, 14, has been heralded as one of best gymnasts to come out of Norfolk and was chosen for the national squad to compete Down Under in January.

The Sprowston Community High School student will go up against some of the world's finest at the Sydney Olympic Stadium and, after a stellar 2012, she expects to bring home a medal.

In preparation for the trip to Australia, Emily has been on international duty in Europe. She was part of the GB junior team at the Coupe Avenir international in Belgium in November where she helped the squad to team gold and also took individual silver.

She also claimed silver on vault and bronze on beam. At the Arques international tournament in France earlier this month she had even better results.

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This time it was team bronze, and once again individual silver but Emily was victorious twice over in the apparatus finals taking golds on both the beam (14.25) and the floor (13.825) with new personal best scores.

After such a good lead-up to the Youth Olympic Festival, Emily is quietly confident of coming home with something to show for all her hard work.

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'I'm definitely going for a medal,' said Emily, who trains up to 25 hours a week at the Norfolk Academy of Gymnastics in Attleborough.

'The floor is probably my best event so I'm looking to do well in that.

'I become a senior next year so this is another step I need to take to carry on my progression.

'Hopefully I will then go on to compete in the European and World Championships in the future before going to the Olympics (in Rio).'

Emily admits she was inspired by the exploits of the gymnastics squad that competed in London 2012 and has looked up to Beth Tweddle ever since she took up the sport as a six-year-old.

Her parents Shaun and Lisa encouraged her to take up gymnastics after finding ballet wasn't challenging her enough and she hasn't looked back since.

'When she was very little she started doing ballet but she had too much energy for it so her dad suggested we took her to try gymnastics and she really took to it,' said Lisa, who revealed her daughter trains up to 25 hours a week. 'Shaun said straight away that she is very talented and she has just kept progressing from there.

'We are really proud – she has worked so hard to get to Australia and she really deserves it. She is so excited about going.

'The prospect of being selected has really helped to spur her on and has made all that hard work worth it.'

Her coach, Sara-Jane Inglis added: 'We are all overjoyed at the news and so proud of Emily.

'We knew that she had a shot at selection given her results this year but there is such strength in depth in British gymnastics these days that competition for places is always fierce.

'To get to experience the trip to Australia and competing in the Sydney Olympic stadium is a dream come true for Emily.'

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