A TALENTED schoolgirl has revealed she broke down in tears after finding out she would represent Great Britain for the first time.

Cera Gemmell will pull on the British vest on Sunday morning when she takes part in the European Cross Country Championships.

The 17-year-old was delighted to be called up to the squad and is one of six British athletes who will compete in the race in Lisbon.

More than a dozen nations will take to the start line in the Portuguese capital.

Gemmell told Courier Sport: “It feels like an honour.

“I am really, really excited – I’m not nervous yet but just really excited for the experience. I will be nervous when I am there.

“We fly out to Portugal tomorrow (Friday) and the race is on Sunday morning.”

The North Berwick athlete was expecting much different conditions at the event compared to those found on British soil.

While Scotland has been wet and cold, the conditions in Portugal are expected to be in line with those found in the British summer.

Six athletes will represent Britain in the team event, with the performances of the top four runners being used to decide team medals.

Gemmell said: “I’m just going to really get experience and maybe get in the top 40 in the race.

“I’m going for the experience and hopefully to help the team as much as I can because there are team medals on offer.”

The North Berwick High School pupil qualified for the British team following her performance at the British Cross Challenge in Liverpool last weekend.

The top five athletes qualified for the team automatically, with one more place up for grabs.

She said: “I was not expecting to get onto the team and came in sixth so I did not know if I was going to get picked.

“There were a couple of nervous days waiting on a call.

“When the call came, I was so happy that I started to cry. I was just so delighted.”

The international recognition marks the latest stage of an impressive journey for Gemmell, who is studying Advanced Higher French and biology, as well as Higher psychology and PE.

Previously, she was a competitive swimmer, training more than half a dozen times a week.

And it was through swimming that she discovered her natural talent for running.

She said: “In swimming, we used to do a lot of land training.We would go for runs and I would always be one of the fastest girls.”

Then, she started attending Haddington Running Club and developed her love for the sport.

She linked up with county athletics legend Henry Muchamore and became a member of Team East Lothian.

Now, she is gearing up for her final race before Christmas and will be joined at the major championships by mum and dad Sandra and Nial.