Shetland Commonwealth Games Star Is Just 13

by Alastair Hamilton -

Shetland Commonwealth Games Star Is Just 13

Erraid Davies, who won a bronze medal in the swimming competitions at Glasgow's Commonwealth Games, is the youngest-ever Scottish medallist.

Erraid, who trains in Shetland using the pools at Brae, in the north mainland, and the 25m pool in Lerwick, was competing in the 100 metres race for women's para-sport category SB9. She had improved on her personal best time in the heat before the final, and then did so again in the final. On the first leg of the race, she fell a little behind but, as she told the BBC's Sharron Davies, she "hammered it" in the closing stages. Olympic medallist, Rebecca Adlington, forecast that she is "going to be a star", and indeed the BBC reported that her name had been trending world-wide on Twitter in the minutes after the race. Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, tweeted his congratulations and her home team in Shetland, the Delting Dolphins are said to be "overjoyed". She now plans to compete in events in Sheffield and Manchester.

Erraid wasn't the only Shetland swimmer in the Commonwealth Games. Andrea Strachan – more than eight years her senior – made it into the final of her competition, the 50 metre breaststroke. Andrea has picked up medals in British and German competitions but on this occasion didn't gain a podium place.

Meanwhile, one of Shetland's table-tennis players, Lynda Flaws, also did well. Lynda, who is studying Physiology and Sports Science at Glasgow University, had a particularly convincing win over her Guyanan opponent.

There's little doubt that the superb sports facilities in Shetland, backed by excellent coaching, have greatly helped Shetland's young athletes gain the skills, experience and confidence needed to compete in world-class competitions. The islands" network of nine state-of-the-art swimming pools and sports centres is superior to the facilities found in many much larger communities.

We congratulate all the Shetland athletes on their success.

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