Commonwealth winner Erraid Davies ‘excluded’ from para swimming

Shetland swimmer Erraid Davies has Perthes disease which affects one of her hip bones and joints. Picture: SNS
Shetland swimmer Erraid Davies has Perthes disease which affects one of her hip bones and joints. Picture: SNS
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Erraid Davies, the 15-year-old Scot who became the youngest ever Commonwealth medallist, has been deemed ineligible for disability swimming after medical tests.

The swimmer’s huge smile when she realised she had won a bronze medal in the para-sport women’s 100-metre breaststroke became one of the defining images of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

But Erraid, from Skeld in Shetland, was told in April she was no longer deemed disabled enough to compete in para sports.

The athlete called for a review of the decision and met experts in Berlin for more tests but the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said its original decision remained unchanged.

That second panel in Berlin upheld the decision yesterday.

The move follows changes to the review process rather than a change in Erraid’s condition.

Erraid who trains with the Delting Dolphins club in Shetland, has Perthes disease which affects one of her hip bones and joints.

The reclassification in April led to Erraid missing the British Para-swimming trials in Glasgow, the only competition for swimmers to obtain qualification standards for this summer’s Rio Paralympics.

Erraid and her family were said to be “extremely upset and disappointed” with the decision which was taken after an assessment in the Tollcross pool where she won her Commonwealth medal.

After his daughter’s Commonwealth Games victory, her father David Davies said: “When she was four she could hardly walk.

“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.”

Before losing her classification, Erraid was only eligible to compete in breaststroke events.

A spokeswoman said: “Erraid Davies undertook a second classification review at the Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaften 2016 Meet in Berlin, and has been deemed ineligible to compete in para-swimming.”

Erraid will not be allowed to appeal the IPC’s decision a second time.

A statement on scottishswimming.com read: “Erraid and her family are grateful to the support of the para-swimming community at this time but have asked not to be contacted direct in order they can digest the information.”