A TALENTED gymnast has received international praise after she flew to Greece to represent England in the Horizon Cup.

Mercedes Moore from South Durham Gymnastics, based at Spennymoor, flew the flag for the country, in Thessaloniki, where she placed second overall against competitors for across the world.

The 13-year-old trains for 25 hours a week at the club – where she has been a member since she was six.

Mercedes – who lives in Darlington – said she was delighted to have been selected for the Horizon Cup, which is an international artistic gymnastics tournament, made for up-and-coming gymnasts.

The youngster said: “It was an amazing experience, I didn’t expect to come away with anything so I was really pleased with the result.

“Bar and vault are my favourite which are the ones I did the best at.

“I’ve always wanted to do gymnastics since I was little, I loved doing cartwheels on the floor so we got some equipment for the house and it started off from there.

“My family are very proud of how I did in the competition and are very supportive of my gymnastics.”

The international competition saw Mercedes carry out four different performances where she was awarded the gold medal on bars and the silver medal for her vault routine.

She has been working hard at the club’s base at Spennymoor Leisure Centre’s ‘Pink Gym’ where she is mentored by head coach, Nicola Preston.

Coach Preston, who has been training Mercedes since she was six, said the youngster’s hard work had paid off.

She said: “Mercedes has always been very determined since she was little, she’s very talented but she always gives 100 per cent which is the main thing.

“She is very committed to gymnastics so we hoped she’d do well but to come second in her first international tournament is such a big achievement.

“Mercedes is part of a new generation of gymnasts who will go on to compete for their county and we are very proud.”

In the future, the club said they would like to see Mercedes go on to trial for the European championships next year and continue to develop her skills through hard work.