GYMNASTICS: REBECCA Mason is back to her best and hoping to help Great Britain clinch a place in next year's Olympics.
The Sandbach gymnast has battled back from a succession of injuries to recapture the form that made her one of Britain's brightest prospects during her early teens.
After missing the whole of 2001 through injury, the 17-year-old starlet has reasserted herself this year.
Earlier this year she became an English champion and on Saturday, she clinched her place in the Great Britain squad to compete in the World Championships in America later this month with some outstanding performances in the final trials in Lilleshall.
Her coach at Sandbach Gymnastics Club, Peter Aldous, has also been selected as one of Britain's coaches at the championships.
He said: 'Rebecca has been with me for many years and she is a very talented gymnast.
'She had a tough time when she was injured but it wasn't as though she had broken her leg or anything. It was more painful for the mind than the body.'
Rebecca won virtually every regional and national title from the age of 10 to 14, only to be hampered by knee and elbow problems.
But her natural ability on all pieces of apparatus has catapulted her back into the limelight.
She has performed with distinction in internationals against Spain, Holland, Russia and Israel and last month pushed Britain's golden girl Beth Tweddle all the way in the British Championships, firmly putting South Cheshire on the gymnastics map.
Aldous added: 'Rebecca is an excellent all-round gymnast who is comfortable on all four pieces of apparatus, but her specialities are the asymmetric bars and the balance beam.'
Both gymnast and coach were due to fly put to Anaheim this morning with the rest of the British squad for the World Championships, which will run from August 18 to 23.
Great Britain need to finish in the top 12 to guarantee a place in next year's Olympics in Athens, something Rebecca has set her heart on.
* Beth Tweddle was handed a 'wild card' entry into the British team after an ankle ligament injury prevented her from taking part in the necessary number of trials.