USA team call-up is Beth’s reward for fine performances in the pool

Beth Johnson
Beth Johnson

Galashiels swimming sensation Beth Johnston has been selected as part of a small Scottish Youth squad which will compete in Indianapolis at the World Para Swimming Series next month.

The 15-year-old Galashiels Academy pupil has bounced back from an injury-hit season last year to post some impressive results and secure her place in the national set-up.

Beth’s selection coincided with a superb showing in Sheffield at the end of April while competing at the British Para International Meet 2017. It was also part of the World Series and Beth, who swims in the S9/10 sections for swimmers with impaired muscle power, had a clean sweep of personal bests in all the events she raced in.

She achieved second place in both the national finals of the 50 FC (0.4sec pb) and the 100 Back (1.4 sec pb) Scottish Record (S10); fourth in the national final 100 FC (1.4 sec pb); a national finalist in both the 100BRST (long course pb) and 200 IM (8 sec pb), as well as being a World Series 2 finalist 400 FC (12 sec pb).

Mum Louise said the stateside selection was one of Beth’s biggest accomplishments to date and she was thrilled at the prospect of swimming abroad.

“She is absolutely delighted – I don’t think she can quite believe she’s going that far to swim. Neither can we,” said Louise.

Attention was also turning towards qualifiaction times for the Commonwealth Games, she added, so there were plenty more important swimming events coming up.

Supported also by dad Alan and younger brother Kerr, as well as her mum, Beth’s ambition is to take part in the 2020 Paralympics on Tokyo, and she hopes the experience she picks up in the coming months will help propel her towards that dream.

Lauren Jocelyn, head coach with the Borders Elite Swimming Team (BEST), said: “This will be a great experience for Beth to race against the best in the world. She had a tough season last year being injured. She has worked exceptionally hard over the last six months and all her hard work is certainly showing now in her performances.”