THE proud head coach of Acrobay Gymnastics Club said there were "tears and joy" after a star partnership won an historic European bronze.

Suzanne Fraser paid a glowing to tribute to Sacha Muir, Erin Henderson and Chloe Rowlands, who reached podium at the European Championships in Acrobatic Gymnastics in their final event together as a partnership.

Sacha and Erin, both 19, and 15-year-old Chloe, a pupil at Inverkeithing High School, travelled to Holon, Israel, to represent Great Britain at the competition and became the first Scottish partnership to win a senior European Championship medal.

After their James Bond-themed routine scored 28.030 on the first day of qualification, their balance routine on day two provided a score of 27.750 – for a total of 55.780 – which qualified them for both the all-round final and that of the balance discipline.

In the all-round final, the trio earned 29.060 for a well-executed combination routine to bring their total score to 84.840, which was enough to claim the bronze medal behind Belgium and Portugal.

Sacha, Erin and Chloe's history-making performance was followed by a fifth-place finish – but less than half a mark away from a second podium place – in their final routine, in the balance final and Suzanne, who accompanied them to the competition, said: "It's historic for Scotland; they're the first Scottish partnership that have medalled at the championships.

"They held it together and were consistent for all three routines. Their preparation was really good and I was very excited and pleased for them.

"You dream about it but when it happens, you can't quite believe and it's quite surreal.

"They were ecstatic and excited when their score came up, which was the highest they've ever had, but then it was a waiting game waiting for the other partnerships to finish.

"There were tears and joy, lots of emotions, especially as it was their last competition together."

Sacha and Erin, who this year began university having deferred their places last year to allow them to continue as a partnership at senior level, and Chloe also represented Great Britain at June's European Games, in which they were Team GB's sole representatives within their discipline.

They also made history last year when they became the first ever junior Scottish partnership to perform for GB at the World Age Group Championships, finishing in an outstanding fourth place.

The trio were also nominated for the Senior Gymnast of the Year at last weekend's Scottish Gymnastics Awards, in which Suzanne was crowned Coach of the Year.

Having described that accolade as "a team effort" with the support of "good coaches" within the club, she added: "They have worked really hard over the last three years, through the highs and lows.

"I'm really proud of them."

Wendy Purdie, Scottish Gymnastics' performance manager, said: "This is a historic achievement for Scottish gymnasts, winning a medal at a Senior European Championships.

"Erin, Sacha and Chloe have been great role models to younger gymnasts within the acrobatic discipline of gymnastics in Scotland.

"They have allowed younger gymnasts see that with hard work and determination great achievements can happen."