Aberdeen swimmer Toni Shaw is embracing having another year to prepare for her expected Paralympics debut.
Shaw won six medals at the World Para-swimming Championships in London last year and was expected to be part of Team GB for Tokyo 2020.
The Covid-19 crisis saw the 16-year-old’s dream pushed back until next year.
Teenager Shaw struck a positive tone when the Games’ postponement was announced back in March and was similarly upbeat after returning to training at Aberdeen Sports Village Aquatics Centre with other performance swimmers, including three-time Olympian Hannah Miley, for the first time since then last week.
She said: “You just need to look at it as another year to do the things you wished you done better.
“You now have the time to do it better.
“Although it was disappointing at the time, you’ve got to look at the positive of having another year to try to improve.”
Albyn School pupil Shaw – who won 34pt 4x100m medley relay and 4x100m freestyle relay golds, S9 400m freestyle and 100m butterfly silvers, and 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley bronzes at the worlds – says she was pleasantly surprised with her fitness levels on getting back in the pool at ASV.
Despite her youth, she has stayed focused, with Zoom workouts, classes and, recently, swimming in Knockburn Loch.
Shaw said: “There was lots of help from my club with Zoom workouts and everything like that, and Scottish Swimming put on lots of classes to keep us busy.
“Most of the time you were busy enough to keep going. There were a few times when you’re missing the pool so much it does get hard, but I think I coped quite well.
“Towards the end of lockdown I tried out a bit of open water swimming – which was interesting.
“I’m not quite used to it being that cold or not being able to swim in a straight line.
“We’ve been at Knockburn Loch, where quite a lot of other swimmers have been going, just to keep the feel of the water.
“Once you’ve warmed up it good fun, though.”
Shaw, who is looking forward to increasing normality in her training, added: “Yeah, (I am) definitely (happy with my fitness). I thought it was going to be a lot worse the first time I went back, but I think it’s just about building yourself back up to where you were before the start of lockdown.
“The main thing I’m missing is having the rest of my club around me.
“Although you race as an individual, it’s such a team sport with the training and everything.
“The sooner everyone can come back, the better.”