A TALENTED motocross rider has clinched a national championship – just 12 months after she broke both her wrists.

Cristina Palmer spent three months unable to ride her motorbike after the serious injury last year.

Now she is back, better than ever, after taking first place in the British Girls Nationals Motocross Championships.

The 12-year-old, who lives just outside Dunbar, said: “I was taking part in a club event and was pushing to try to win. I was second and trying to take the lead and pushed a bit too hard.

“I knew something was not right but it did not really sink in.

“I was a little bit in shock and I did not realise what had happened.

“It did not hit me until I got to the hospital and my first question was: ‘Is my bike alright?’”

Doctors at Borders General Hospital found that the youngster, who is in S1 at Dunbar Grammar School, had “fully snapped and completely dislocated” her right wrist, while she had suffered a greenstick fracture – where the bone bends and cracks instead of breaking into separate pieces – on her left wrist.

The injury meant Cristina was unable to ride her bike for several weeks.

She said: “I had mixed feelings when I got back on the bike.

“I was very happy to be back but that memory was still in my head and I felt a little bit hesitant if that happened again.

“I had to build my confidence.”

But she starred at the championships, which are split over two rounds, with the first section taking place in Duns, in the Scottish Borders, and the second at Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire.

Cristina, who thanked her sponsors for their support, said: “The weather was not the best [at Duns], it was very wet but you have to learn to ride in the wet – you cannot just practice in the dry.

“I knew how to ride those conditions and won overall that weekend.”

The youngster told Courier Sport she found competition tougher at Brookthorpe but still emerged victorious to be crowned champion overall.

However, far from resting on her laurels, Cristina, who has been riding motocross bikes since she was just two, went on to take 12th in the Motocross Nationals, open to boys and girls.

The youngster has set her sights on improving on that and said: “We are going to be doing the Motocross Nationals again next season.

“I want to get in the top 10 and I want to retain the British Girls.”

Beyond that, the ambitious schoolgirl has her sights on the European Championships and a professional career.