Imogen battles through to games

PUBLISHED: 02:01 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:08 15 June 2010

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6: A SOUTHLEIGH couple are proud their daughter will compete in the Beijing Olympics, after missing two world championships because of injuries. Nigel and Janet Cairns, parents of 2006 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winning gymnast Imogen, feel that attending

A SOUTHLEIGH couple are proud their daughter will compete in the Beijing Olympics, after missing two world championships because of injuries.Nigel and Janet Cairns, parents of 2006 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal winning gymnast Imogen, feel that attending the Olympics is a dream come true for their 19-year-old daughter.And Imogen, who lives in Portishead, nearly did not make the Olympic team because it was feared she would not recover from her injuries in time.The Cairns left for Beijing yesterday (Tuesday) to see their daughter take part in the world famous international games.Mr Cairns said: "We are enormously proud. She nearly didn't make the team. She was originally posted as a reserve, until one other was unable to compete and she got a place."She broke her ankle earlier in the year and the coaches weren't sure if her injuries would heal in time. "We think a lot of her for battling on throughout. Many people would give up. If you have injuries it's difficult to get back into the sport. You have to start all over again."Imogen has been doing gymnastics since she was six years old. She trains six days a week and does all four apparatus.As well as winning gold in the Commonwealth Games, she also took home a silver medal in the team event.In the 2008 British National, held in Guildford, she earned the national vault and floor titles, and silver on the beam.In an interview with Interanational Gymnast, Imogen said: "I know internationally most people thought I had retired. Sorry, you have got me for a while longer! "Even in Great Britain people thought I had finished. I find it hilarious."Imogen will face stiff competition and Mr Cairns is not overly confident she will take a medal home. But he believes she has already accomplished so much simply by getting there.He said: "She's up against difficult competition. The team's objective is to try to get fifth or sixth place in the world ranking."But it's a great achievement to get to the Olympics. That alone is a dream come true.

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