McCoo selected for World Championships

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GYMNAST Sophie McCoo has been selected to represent Ireland at the World Championships later this year.

The talented teenager was chosen as part of a five-strong team to compete in the event in Japan in October.

Abbey Gymnastics’ Alison McMullan is also set to travel to Tokyo as the team coach.

“We have just spent 10 days training in America with some amazing coaches,” said Alison. “While we were there we received confirmation that Sophie has been selected to represent Ireland at World Championships and I have also been selected to travel as team coach.”

Sophie, who is from Jordantown, is the only gymnast on the team who originates from, resides and trains full-time in Northern Ireland.

“I think she is a perfect example of home-grown talent,” Alison added. “It’s an exciting time for Sophie and myself and will be, without a doubt, the most amazing experience of her gymnastics career to date.”

Earlier this year Sophie took centre stage at the Irish Gymnastics Women’s Artistic National Finals in Lisburn when she won the title of Irish National All Around Champion 2011. As the youngest contender in the Senior Section, the 15-year-old outshone the rest of the field.

To make the trip this autumn, Alison and Sophie, who have been asked to return to the USA to train for the event, will have to raise £2,000 each. They have already secured some funding from Kirk’s Bakery and Irish Gymnastics but are keen to hear from interested parties.