Double gold for Imogen

PUBLISHED: 17:12 11 October 2010 | UPDATED: 09:27 20 October 2010

Imogen Cairns with her two medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Imogen Cairns with her two medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Archant

PORTISHEAD gymnast Imogen Cairns and coach Liz Kincaid will return triumphant from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, after Imogen twice struck gold.

PORTISHEAD gymnast Imogen Cairns and coach Liz Kincaid will return triumphant from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, after Imogen twice struck gold.

The 21-year-old who trains at the town’s Academy in Harbour Road, run by her coach, travelled to India to defend her 2006 Commonwealth Games vault champion title.

She successfully achieved that last Thursday, just days after picking up a team silver medal. But then on Friday, the jubilant gymnast pipped Australian Lauren Mitchell to secure victory, taking the floor gold too.

Dogged by injury for more than 15 months after making her Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008, two ankle operations put Imogen’s future in the sport in doubt.

Now, speaking after her second gold in the games, the gymnast said winning one gold was beyond her wildest dreams, let alone two.

It is believed Imogen was thinking of retiring after the games, but she is now reconsidering the idea, wondering if she could actually make the London 2012 Olympics.

Celebrations continued all weekend at Imogen’s Academy training ground. Gill Ford, sister of coach Liz Kincaid said: “We can’t believe the achievement. Imogen, with Liz has worked so hard for this and even though we know she was exhausted after the first gold, the perseverance and sheer hard work paid off. We are so proud of her.”

Liz, who is head coach for Team England, has been coaching Imogen since she was six-years-old.

The pair hardly had time to catch their breath before moving on to the World Championships in Rotterdam where Imogen is currently listed as a reserve.

Members of the public are now calling for town leaders to organise a victorious homecoming and publicly mark the achievement.

Resident Terry Wan said: “I hope Portishead will recognise the achievements of this local champion and organise something fitting to celebrate her homecoming.”

While another resident, Stuart Pine said: “This achievement needs to be publicly recognised and recorded somewhere for future generations to appreciate.”

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