SHE may have come away from the Commonwealth Games empty handed but Stephanie Sherlock insists the experience will only serve to make her stronger.

The 17-year-old was making her Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow following silver medals in both the ball and hoop apparatus at this year’s British Championships.

Part of a three-strong England rhythmic gymnastics squad, Sherlock had already finished fourth in the team event and 11th in the individual all-around final heading into the final day of competition on Saturday.

And, while unable to claim an elusive medal, finishing seventh in both the hoop and ball individual finals, Sherlock believes her performances in Scotland are just the start of things to come.

“It just felt amazing to be here and I am really proud of myself to be making these two finals because it is just the top eight out of the Commonwealth,” she said.

“It is just fantastic considering I started gymnastics late so I had to catch up. I am proud to be here at this point in my life and I am sure it is just the beginning.

“It is a big confidence boost because I know I can do it and I know I can compete in such a big arena.

“I just love the support of the crowd. It has inspired me to carry on and do my best and just get better and better.

“I am aiming for the next Commonwealth Games and who knows maybe I will make it to the Olympic Games. This experience will help me so much.”

Sherlock isn’t done with international competition for the year and has her sights firmly set on the World Championships in Turkey in September.

She knows she’ll have to improve to stand a chance of booking herself a trip but Sherlock is desperate to earn selection after her Glasgow 2014 outing.

“At the moment my goal is to keep practicing and becoming the best I can and I know I can do much better than what I did here because it was not the best I can do,” she added.

“I am sure I have lots of room to develop and I am really hoping I get selected for World Championships this September.

“If I am selected I will represent England and Great Britain and do the best that I can.”

  •  Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.