Glasgow 2014: Erraid Davies's parents praise 'amazing daughter'

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Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July - 3 AugustCoverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

The parents of 13-year-old swimmer Erraid Davies have spoken proudly of their "amazing" daughter after her Commonwealth Games bronze.

The Shetland schoolgirl, Scotland's youngest ever Commonwealth competitor, finished third in the para-sport women's 100m breaststroke.

"I just managed to stop crying but it was difficult," her father David told BBC Scotland.

"It was amazing, absolutely amazing. That's the only word to describe it."

Other child stars of the pool
Sharron Davies was a British record holder at 11 and went to the 1976 Olympics aged 13.
Ellie Simmonds was 13 when she won golds at the 2008 paralympics in the 100m freestyle S6 and 400m freestyle.
Danish swimmer Inge Sorensen won the 200m breaststroke at the 1936 Games aged 12 years and 24 days.

Davies's movement is restricted by a problem with one of her hip bones.

"When she was four she could hardly walk," her father said. "So the pool was the only thing that kept her fit.

"She swam her first mile before she was six. She's been swimming ever since and she's just got better and better."

Erraid Davies
"I knew there was only seven of us in our event, so there was a chance", Davies said afterwards

Davies kept her participation at the Commonwealth Games a secret from her school friends.

"I didn't really know how to tell my schoolmates," she told BBC Breakfast. "But they know now and I've had lots of messages.

"It was just amazing walking out to a home crowd. It was really loud! I knew there was a chance of a medal so I just kind of went for it."

Roared on by the Tollcross centre crowd, she took five seconds off her personal best in the SB9 100m breaststroke final. She finished just behind Australian silver medallist Madeleine Scott in one minute and 21.38 seconds, with New Zealand's Sophie Pascoe taking gold.

"Knocking five seconds off her PB is almost as amazing as this medal," father David added.

On Shetland, Davies trains in a 16.75m pool, a third of the length of the Olympic-sized pool she won bronze in.

Her mother Joyce said: "We do have a lot of swimming pools [on Shetland] but they are very small - it shows it doesn't make any difference.

"Erraid's got a superb coach. Lorraine Gifford is very dedicated to all the swimmers at the club. She's very lucky.

"Swimming makes Erraid very happy. It's too much hard work if you're not loving it so I think her smile says everything."

Gifford, head coach at Delting Dolphins Swimming Club based in Brae, has been working with Davies since she was eight and predicts a bright future for the teenager, including a trip to the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

"I'm incredibly proud. She works so hard and she's a real pleasure to coach," she told BBC Radio Scotland.

"We just treat her like anybody else. We don't have any stars here - just swimmers.

"When she gets home we'll ground her a little bit. Then I really think we can look at Rio and things beyond that."

Erraid Davies
Davies set a new personal best for the second time in a day with her medal-winning swim

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