Aberdeen 15-year-old Toni Shaw says it’s “really exciting” to be selected for the World Para Swimming Championships in London.
Albyn School pupil Toni – who was part of Team Scotland at last year’s Commonwealth Games – is currently sitting exams, but will be in the Great Britain squad for the meet in September.
She has been chosen to swim the S9 100m butterfly and both the 34pt 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley.
Toni was set to go to last year’s worlds in Mexico City. However, an earthquake saw the event postponed, with Britain opting not to attend the rescheduled championships.
She said: “It was disappointing to not get to race there last year, but to get a second chance is really exciting.
“I’ve never swam in London before. Knowing there have been huge competitions there also makes it exciting.
“I’ve competed against most of the other swimmers, but never all of the countries at the same time.”
Toni thinks the worlds, at the London Aquatic Centre, will be just as significant as the Commies in Gold Coast.
She said: “I think it’s equally a big deal.
“It’s a higher level of competition as a lot more countries and fast swimmers are going to be there.
“Obviously Australia, though, was a big trip. So it’s about the same.”
At the Commonwealth Games, Toni reached the final of every event she entered – finishing fifth in the S9 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke, as well as sixth in the SM10 200m individual medley and seventh in the SB9 100m breaststroke.
She also won two medals of each colour at last year’s European Championships in Dublin, including a gold as the team broke the world record for the 4×100 medley.
The year was capped with a host of gongs at Aberdeen’s Sports Awards, sportscotland’s Scottish Sports Awards and the British Swimming Awards.
Toni only has one aim as she extends her season for the worlds in London.
She said: “I think the aim is to race as hard as I can.
“Preparations are going to be different as the season has finished for most other swimmers (by September).
“We’re going to be training through the summer and I think there’s going to be a camp happening.
“I’ll probably race at the British summer meet, but I won’t taper for that. I’ll probably just taper for worlds.”
It’s been a busy period for Toni, who was selected following the weekend’s British Para-swimming International Meet, which also served as the British trials and a leg of the World Para Swimming World Series.
She was set to sit a maths exam today, but at Tollcross the pressure was on to hit the times required to qualify for London.
Toni, who is next racing on the Continent, added: “I’m actually going away to a competition in Spain on Thursday.
“A Spanish swimmer invited me.
“I think there have been three World Para-Swimming Series meets this year so far, but Saturday was the first one I’d been to.
“I’m going to one in Berlin soon.
“It depends whether they send a team and you get chosen.
“The one on Saturday in Glasgow we went with our clubs, but the one in Berlin will be with Britain.
“(Saturday’s competition) was part of the world series but also the trials for Britain.
“It was the only chance to get the times, so it was quite nerve-wracking.”