Jocelyn Hunt has her sights set on the real thing after being given a taste of the Olympic stage.
Ahead of this summer’s games in London, the Stubbington gymnast took part in the recent test event at the O2 Arena under the watchful eye of Team GB selectors.
While the senior members of the squad have already secured their place and did not feature in the team competition in Greenwich, both Hunt and Liverpool’s Rebecca Tunney took part to gain some vital extra experience.
And the talented 17-year-old, Hunt, saw minor errors affect her scores in her bars and beam routines but she produced a flawless display on the floor – including an impressive triple twist – to score 13.766 and put her as second reserve for the final.
Her total of 52.366 secured 40th place in overall rankings but it was the experience of competing on the same stage that will be used for the Olympics which could be the key.
Hunt said: ‘I was quite nervous before competing as we knew it would be a big crowd.
‘It was amazing to compete in the Olympic arena with the rest of the girl’s squad cheering us on.’
The floor routine was her outstanding display and a decent vault saw her seal 34th place with a total of 13.8.
While the uneven bars (60th) and the beam (61st) let her down on the day, there was enough to suggest she could yet be in the GB ranks for the London extravaganza.
Dad John said: ‘She did very well. She was the first reserve on the floor, so she was close to making the final.
‘I think she has progressed a lot since the Commonwealth Games. She is stronger now and a bit more experienced.’
‘It will be exactly the same set-up and all the same equipment for the Olympics.
‘It’s a good arena. It was probably three quarters full but it will be really exciting when it’s a full house for the Olympics.
‘It was a great experience for her and I think it gives her an idea of what it will be like this summer. So now she has to make sure she gets there.’
The former Ville gymnast faces a date with destiny over the course of several events this summer and her dreams of Olympic selection will be decided in July.
Before that, she has plenty of opportunities to impress the selectors with the English Championships in March and the European Championships in May before the British team and individuals competitions.
But she has impressed on international duty in the past, winning both individual and team silver medals in 2010 at the European Championships in Birmingham and the Commonwealth Games in India.
And she also picked up a bronze medal in the floor at a World Cup event in Doha last year.