TWO young gymnasts from Trafford shone for their team at the first three rounds of the Espoir National league in Stoke recently

Angela Oikonomopolou, aged 11 from Tyntesfield Primary School in Sale, and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls' Sonia Yang, aged 13, compete for the

City of Manchester Rhythmic Academy who train at Altrincham Leisure Centre. 

And they headed to the Potteries after qualifying with their team for  the rhythmic gymnastics Espoir National League in March.

They have put in hours of training each week in order to master their ball routine and headed to Fenton Manor looking to make it count.

After a fine performance at the English championships the previous weekend, the girls had high hopes for a good result.

During their first performance on the carpet there were three minor fumbles of the ball, however they still achieved an excellent score of 7.350.

This result fired up the girls and they were determined to perform their routine cleanly and without any drops.

The second panel of judges appeared to be much harsher on the day and most results were lowered during the second performances.

Therefore, the pressure was on for the girls to achieve their target of scoring an eight.

They came out fighting and showed excellent mental strength when it was needed.

The performance was clean so it was then a nailbiting wait to find out where they stood in the national competition after the first round.

The result they wanted arrived and they scored a spectacular 8.375 to place them first nationally in the completion after the first round.

Rounds two and three take place in October and November as the duo and their team look to replicate their performances to take the title of National Espoir League champions.