PINEWOOD Gymnastic Club star Yasmin Taite has been forced to retire following a horror injury in training.

The 21-year-old elite tumbler, who competed on the world stage, suffered a fractured skull while practising at the Wokingham club last week and is currently recovering at Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital.

Her injuries mean she will be unable to compete again, though she intends to develop her coaching role to nurture the next generation of tumblers.

Taite, who was hoping to take part in this year’s European Championships, voiced her disappointment on social media.

“After 18 years in gymnastics I have decided to retire,” she confirmed on Instagram. “Earlier this week in training I had an accident which resulted in me fracturing my skull pretty badly.

“Currently still in hospital but due to my injuries I will have to pull out of the European trials. I’m beyond upset as my plan was to compete in the trials and, if I had been selected, to make one of these competitions my last of the year.”

She continued: “It’s heartbreaking for me not being able to end on the terms that I would’ve wanted to, but due to what’s happened there’s nothing I can do about that and I just feel it’s the right time for me to step away.

“I have had the most incredible opportunities to travel world, represent and win medals for my country and make lifelong friends.

“Gymnastics is more than a sport, it became my second family which is why I will be continuing in a coaching capacity to hopefully inspire many children to be the best they can.”

Taite collected a huge hauls of medals during her gymnastics career and was one of the top tumblers in the country.

In December she and Pinewood team-mate Lucie Colebeck helped Team GB to silver at the Trampoline & Tumbling World Championships in Bulgaria. She also won silver at the British Championships at Liverpool in October.

Taite paid tribute to her Pinewood coach Vladimir Podobin and those who helped her gain international success, saying: “Thank you to my coach, I am so lucky to have you not only as my coach, but a mentor and friend. You had the hardest job developing me into the strong character that I am today. No words can capture how grateful I am to you.

“Finally, thank you to my mum. You dedicated most of your life to being my taxi service, you had to deal with my setbacks and help motivate me to continue. Thanks for being my number one supporter.

“I will miss the sport so much, but I’m sure I’ll be bouncing back again soon.”