PAVEL Karnejenko has ensured that when the European Gymnastics Championships come to Glasgow next month, there will be Scottish interest for the home crowd to cheer on.

The 18-year-old is the lone Scot selected in the British squad, which includes a men’s and women’s senior team as well as men’s and women’s junior teams.

Karnejenko will fight for silverware in the European Junior Championships, which will take place at the SSE Hydro next month alongside the senior competition, and he admits that the prospect of competing for medals in the city he grew up in is hugely exciting.

“I’m just delighted to be selected for the European Championships in Glasgow and honoured to represent GB in just four weeks’ time,” the teenager, who is now based in Nottingham, said.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Glasgow where I started my gymnastics career when I was a pupil in Glasgow School of Sport.

“Our main focus is a team medal. We’re going to try for top spot but it is going to be tough amongst some big countries like Russia and Switzerland. But we’ve got a really strong team.”

Karnejenko will be in exalted company in the British squad at Glasgow 2018, with double-Olympic champion Max Whitlock spearheading the senior team, where he will be joined by a number of international medallists, including Beckie Downie and Courtney Tulloch.

However, Scottish Olympic medallist and former Commonwealth champion Dan Purvis has missed out on selection due to injury.

Karnejenko was born and spent the early years of his childhood in Tallin in Estonia but at the age of 12, his family relocated to Glasgow. He had already tried his hand at gymnastics but with extremely limited chances to progress in his country of birth, he knew that the move to Scotland was likely to open up a wealth of opportunities for him in the sport he loved.

And he was proven right, with his first junior title coming in his first year in Scotland before he progressed through the ranks, collecting a wealth of Scottish and British titles along the way.

In order to continue his development in gymnastics, Karnejenko made the move to Nottingham last year and now trains alongside Olympic medallist Sam Oldham at Notts Gymnastics Club and the teenager has found that being alongside someone day in, day out who has reached the very highest level could not be more motivating.

“When I originally started gymnastics, I just kept chasing my goals, chasing my dreams but it got to the point I knew if I really wanted to make it, I’d need to make another move to a place where gymnastics is at an even higher level, which is why I chose Nottingham,” he said.

“Training beside Sam motivates me, it inspires me. When I see him training, I realise I could achieve the same things as him.”

Karnejenko made the tough choice to remove himself from consideration for selection for the Commonwealth Games this year as competing in a senior competition would have ruled him out of selection for Glasgow 2018. While he admits it was a tricky decision, he is satisfied he made the correct move for his career in the long term.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, it took me a few weeks to decide but the European Championships is a more important event and it is more important for my future,” he said.

“I did watch the Commonwealth Games - I watched all my team-mates that I used to train with in Glasgow compete and it was just amazing. It was great to see them win a bronze medal, I was really happy for them.”