Coach 'super-proud' of gymnast Amy Tinkler after 'routine of her life'

Great Britain's Amy Tinkler celebrates a bronze medal in the Women's Floor Exercise final. Credit: PA

Team GB's youngest athlete, Amy Tinkler, produced the "routine of her life"to win a medal at the Rio Games, her proud coach has said.

The dedicated 16-year-old gymnast, from Bishop Auckland, juggled studying for her GCSEs with a 30-hours-a-week training regime and Olympics trials to earn her place in Brazil.

And on Tuesday evening she bagged bronze after scoring 14.933 with a virtually flawless 90-second floor routine.

After the result was announced, she broke down in tears, saying: "I just love competing in front of big crowds, it's just incredible, I'm just so shocked."

She will find out how she has done in her exams when she flies home nextThursday.

Back at South Durham Gymnastics Club, based at what is known locally as the Pink Gym, head coach Nicola Preston was in awe of how Tinkler rose to the occasion so magnificently.

She said:

Tinkler was just two when she started doing gymnastics and was initially timid and quiet, her coach said, but she had a fierce will to win.

Mrs Preston was full of emotion when she watched Tinkler's performance on television at home.

Great Britain's Amy Tinkler during the Women's Floor Exercise final . Credit: PA

I cried from the moment she walked out, and I was still crying two hours later," she said.

The coach was speaking as young members of the elite squad were putting in the hours at the specialist gymnastics facility in Spennymoor.

And she was sure Tinkler will inspire others to greatness.

Her friend, Mia Scott, 13, from Shildon, said:

Tinkler had already made a name for herself last year as senior English andBritish all-around champion after winning gold at the 2015 British Championships - a feat which she repeated this year.

Although particularly skilled on the floor, she is known for being animpressive all-round gymnast who can keep a cool head in competition.

Those skills enabled her to help Team GB win bronze at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow.