Trampolinist from Somerset to make Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 debut at 32

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A 32-year-old trampolinist from Somerset has qualified for the Olympic Games after overcoming a spate of injuries.

Laura Gallagher, from Bridgwater, will represent Team GB at the delayed games in Tokyo which begin on Friday 23 July.

She will be making her Olympic debut despite enduring a career that has been heavily disrupted by set-backs.

After numerous injuries and lapses in confidence, Laura Gallagher feared she wouldn't bounce back but time away helped her to regain her form.

Laura had taken time away from the trampoline to focus on other pursuits but bounced back in good form Credit: ITV West Country

She said: "When the setbacks just kept coming and coming, it just felt completely relentless.

"I’d had pretty much a year out with back injury and when I came back I had just lost all of my confidence and I had a really unsuccessful return to competition.

"It just came to a bit of a head and I hit rock bottom and realised that the only way forward was to take some time to pull myself out of that place."

Laura stopped training full-time, got a new job, studied for a psychology degree and took up hockey.

She said investing in her passions off the trampoline that helped her love being on it again.

Laura Gallagher and Matt Cox have had to live separately for two years but the pair say it was worth it

She added: "Gradually, I found that I was having some successful performances again. I guess with this clearer perspective it made things a lot easier.

"It made jumping just so much easier and so much more fun and then I sort of just realised that those dreams were still possible."

Laura became British Champion in 2017 and at the World Championships in 2019 booked Team GB's first trampolining place at Tokyo.

Realising her Olympic ambition has involved moving almost 150 miles away from her home in Bridgwater to the National Training Centre in Shropshire.

Matt Cox has been Laura's partner since college and he is proud of his wife's "special" achievement Credit: ITV West Country

Her husband Matt, who has been her partner since college, but the Games’ postponement has meant the pair have lived apart for the past two years.

He says he’s overjoyed by Laura’s achievements: "I’m incredibly proud of her, she’s so resilient it’s unbelievable.

"She’s come through it personally like she’s evolved a lot in that way as well.

"The way she deals with things, she’s just always improving and she’s just so dedicated and really quite special."