Commonwealth Games 2014: Excitement surrounds Erraid Davies future after 13-year-old wins bronze in Glasgow
The Shetland teenage likely to target Paralympics in Rio after success in the pool
Monday 28 July 2014
Scotland's 13-year-old Commonwealth Games hero Erraid Davies has been told she should target the Paralympics in Rio.
The next stop for the Shetland teenager will be age-group national championships in Sheffield next week, but her coach back home sees bigger targets on the horizon.
Davies became an instant Scottish crowd favourite when she won bronze at Glasgow 2014 on Sunday night in the para-sport 100 metres breaststroke.
Already her country's youngest ever team member at a Commonwealth Games, she finished strongly just behind Australian silver medallist Madeleine Scott in one minute and 21.38 seconds, with New Zealand's Sophie Pascoe taking gold.
Davies kept the fact she was spending her summer holidays in Glasgow a secret from her school friends, but they are bound to know all about it now.
"They didn't know before I came here. I didn't really know how to tell them," she said.
"I got a medal and I am so happy. I am feeling really, really happy."
When asked what she felt she could achieve in her sport, she said: "I don't know. I am just going to keep on swimming and see where it gets me."
But Davies' coach at the Delting Dolphins Swimming Club in Brae, on the Shetland mainland, was ecstatic to watch the race she feels will launch a push for a place at the Olympics in two years' time.
Coach Lorraine Gifford told Press Association Sport: "I was screaming at the telly. I'm known for being pretty loud, but I'm sure she could hear me.
"I started coaching Erraid when she was eight.
"We're all so proud of her.
"I think she'll cope with everything. It's great that she's done this. I hope she's enjoying herself.
"I think she can go to Rio for the Olympics. This has been the shot to launch her international career."
Father David told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's been a day of complete draining emotion. We saw Erraid very briefly before she swam. It's been about the first time I've seen her in about a month. She's been at a holding camp.
"Tonight I just couldn't believe it. She took another half second off her PB. The crowd were cheering and shouting. The atmosphere was superb and she didn't let it faze her. She made us so proud of her.
"I was crying. I was shouting. It was just an amazing feeling. I can't say I've felt like that since perhaps she was born."
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond sent his best wishes to the country's new star, writing on Twitter: "Congrats to Scotland's youngest-ever Commonwealth Games competitor Erraid Davies winning a brilliant Bronze."
And Davies' sister Vhairi tweeted: "So proud of my baby sister. Bronze at 13. Crying like mad."
Liz Southern, a meetings planner and former president of Delting Dolphins, said there was a great sense of thrill among its members.
"We're delighted," she told Press Association Sport. "I watched it on the telly and I'm really happy for her and the family.
"We're quite a small club and we all live miles apart, so there's been emails and texts going around celebrating."
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