Commonwealth Hope becomes reality for Lucy

Lucy Hope . Bronze medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Poland.
Lucy Hope . Bronze medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Poland.
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Six years of intense training has paid off for Kelso swimmer Lucy Hope this week when she was selected to represent Team Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Borders Elite Swim Team (BEST) and Kelso ASC athlete has been upping her performance levels over the last few years, earning her selection to various Scottish and British teams. Last year. she won a bronze medal at the European Championships in Poland.

And, following the intensity of back-to-back selection meets, Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) in conjunction with Scottish Swimming yesterday confirmed the names of the athletes who have achieved their goal of competing on home soil this summer. Lucy, 17, will compete in the 4x200m freestyle relay in her first Games.

Coach Alex Jordan told The Southern: “This is obviously a fantastic achievement for Lucy and the BEST Performance Programme.

“I have spoken to a number of people and nobody can recall a swimmer still living and training in the Borders who has represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.

“Lucy attended the very first Borders performance squad session almost six years ago and in that time I have seen her grow as both an athlete and person – I couldn’t be more proud of her and our programme.”

Also included in the 38-man squad is 23-year-old Jak Scott, who began his swimming career in Hawick.

Born in the capital, Jak and his family moved to Hawick when he was still young and he was a member of both Teviotdale Turbos ASC and Hawick Amateur Swimming Club.

He moved away to train at Stirling after leaving Hawick High School and studied business studies at the University there.

Jak will swim in the 4x200m relay, the same event that gained him a silver medal four years ago in Delhi.

While he narrowly missed out on a relay spot for London 2012, Jak bounced back in 2013 and competed in his second World Championship final, finishing eighth with the 4x200m freestyle relay quartet in Barcelona.

Duns man Dan Wallace has also made the team and will compete in the 400m freestyle, 200m and 400m individual medley and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Dan started in the water at Duns Swimming Club, under the eye of coach Joyce Waddell. After winning a swimming scholarship, the 21-year-old now lives in Florida where the former Chirnside Primary School pupil has trained with the USA’s 2012 Olympic coach, Gregg Troy.