NORTH-EAST Olympian Amy Tinkler has announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics at the age of just 20.

The Bishop Auckland-born star made history in 2016 when she won a bronze medal on the floor at the Rio Olympics despite being the youngest member of the entire Team GB squad at the Games.

A former member of the South Durham Gymnastics Club, based in Spennymoor, and a former student at Durham High School for Girls, Tinkler was part of the British squad that won a team bronze medal at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships and was also crowned British all-around champion in the same year.

A winner of The Northern Echo's Local Heroes Awards, Tinkler relocated to the South Essex club after winning bronze in Rio.

However, she has been plagued by a series of injury problems in the last few years and was therefore forced to miss the build-up to this summer's Olympics in Tokyo.

In a statement released this morning, Tinkler said: "When one door closes, another one opens. Thank you to the gymnastics community, you’ve been my whole life and this is not goodbye.

"In the short term, I’m excited to try new opportunities, especially in an Olympic year like this one where I know Team GB will again capture the Nation’s attention by delivering a fantastic performance in Tokyo."