TWO of the region’s top international gymnasts have won a dream opportunity to compete for Great Britain at the World Games in Taiwan next month.

Maiken Thorne, 17, from Yate and Mollie Grehan, 15, from Thornbury will join 3,000 competitors for the prestigious two-week event, which is backed by the International Olympic Committee and is staged every four years for an array of non-Olympic sports.

The pair have already hit glittering heights as acrobatic gymnasts with the globally-acclaimed Yate-based King Edmund Gym Club.

Late last year they teamed up to scoop silver in the Glasgow-held world championships, while more recently Thorne and Grehan became the first King Edmund duo to clinch senior women’s pairs honours at the British Championships in Stoke.

Their selection for the World Games in mid-July, however, heralds their most significant outing together and a thrilled Thorne glowed: “It doesn’t get much bigger and better than this.

“Mollie and I are really looking forward to it and we feel extremely privileged to be representing not only King Edmund Gym Club, but Great Britain too.”

Head coach Nikki Thorne, who is also Maiken’s proud mum, added: “For all our success down the years this is the first time the club has sent anyone to an event as major as this.”

The latest British Championships delivered silver medals for King Edmund’s Ollie Wright, Barnaby Llewellyn, Chester Wilmot and Danny Bates in the junior men’s four category, and Jacob Bates, Christopher Child, Max Hitchcock and Jack Pothecary in the 11-16 men’s four section.

Silver also went to the men’s pairing of Jake Underdown and James May.

The upshot was that all competing King Edmund gymnasts at the championships were drafted into the Great Britain squad, with the prospect of taking part in team competition in the near future.

A terrific year to date has seen the globe-trotting Yate-based gymnasts collect medals in Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Lithuania and Bulgaria, leading Nikki to enthuse: “Every competition we have entered has reaped rewards medals-wise, which has put us in a good position to have strong representation at the European Championships in Portugal in September.”