GYMNASTICS: SALTNEY teenager Melanie Roberts was close to making a surprise appearance for Great Britain in tomorrow's international match against France at Aldershot.
The 15-year-old St David's High School pupil has astonished experts by her recovery from an arm injury which threatened to wreck her career last year.
She made her competitive comeback for Wales in the Celtic Cup in Dublin last weekend and collected a bronze medal in the overall individual competition to help Wales win the trophy.
Her performance impressed coaches so much that she was being considered for a place in the Great Britain second string to meet the French at the Rushmoor Gymnastics Academy.
But it was decided to allow her some more training time and aim instead for the British Team Championships in which she will help Liverpool defend their title.
Said her mum, Paula: 'She was very pleased with her performance in Dublin. Because of her time off after the accident, she has fallen behind with her work on the individual routines and she has had to learn a completely new dismount from the bars, because she won't repeat the one which led to her fall.
'It is too early to say if she could make the Olympic Games, but her performance last weekend has been a big boost to her confidence.'
Even if Melanie doesn't get to Athens, she has set her sights on two trips to Australia for the Commonwealth Youth Games at Bendigo, near Melbourne, in November and then the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.
Certain to be competing against France tomorrow is her Liverpool Gymnastics Club colleague, Bunbury's Beth Tweddle, who has just won back-to-back Grand Prix golds in Germany and France on the asymmetric bars.