Pinches puts studies on hold

08 May 2012 / 17:05

Teenage gymnast Jennifer Pinches is ready to step up her bid for Olympic selection even though it means putting her education on hold.

The 17-year-old A-level student is set to compete for Great Britain at the 2012 European Championships, which begin in Brussels on Wednesday, as the battle for Olympic selection intensifies.

Pinches, who helped Team GB qualify a full quota for the Games with a fifth-placed result at last year's World Championships, has cut back on her studies in order to try and achieve her dream of representing her country in London this summer.

"Recently I have dropped down my school hours quite a lot so that I can focus on training, for this year especially," said Pinches.

"My school has been really supportive and I am just completing the one A-level this year and will go back to school next year to finish them off.

"It is tough, though. I do have to do a lot of work myself and be dedicated in everything I do to achieve results, but if you want to achieve things then that is what you have to do.

"I just gradually decided that you can do your A-levels at any time technically, but this is the Olympics in 2012 - it is this year only, so if I neglect that now and think too much about my school work then I am going to miss this opportunity, and I would never want to do that."

Pinches is part of the five-strong GB team who will compete at the European Championships led by British champion Hannah Whelan and three-time Commonwealth Games champion Imogen Cairns, both of whom competed at the last Olympic Games in Beijing.

Danusia Francis and 15-year old Rebecca Tunney complete the line-up.