SWIM star Emma Russell has been earmarked for future Olympic and World Championship success after being selected for a prestigious national initiative.

The 17-year-old, a former pupil at Woodmill High School, is one of 55 athletes who have been chosen to be part of British Swimming's World Class Programme (WCP) for the 2021/22 season.

Emma, who competes for the University of Stirling, has been picked following a rigorous and detailed selection process by the governing body to draw up its list, which included analysing past performances and recent form, as well as their ability to be successful at future Olympiads and World Championships.

Swimmers across the WCP are split across 'Podium' and 'Podium Potential' tiers, and will receive programme opportunities and targeted support from UK Sport through the World Class Performance Programme's Athlete Performance Award.

Emma, who has been named in the 'Podium Potential' tier, which comprises athletes whose performances indicate that they have realistic capabilities for making the Olympic team for Paris 2024, and medal potential at those games or in 2028, is also eligible to benefit from key competition opportunities and training camp experiences in which they are selected, and access to support from British Swimming performance and support staff, as well as Institute of Sport programmes in Scotland.

One of 38 'Podium Potential' swimmers, Emma competed at her first senior competition for Great Britain in May - and returned home having won two gold medals.

She took part at the European Aquatics Championships, in Budapest, Hungary, having impressed at April's British Swimming selection trials, in which she set two Scottish Age Group records and claimed PBs in three events.

At European level, she received gold medals for her efforts in the 4x100 metres and 4x200m freestyle relays, competing in the heats of both events, the former of which GB's women won in the European Championships for the first time.

British Swimming's national performance director, Chris Spice, said: "This is an exciting time for the programme after an incredible year, which culminated with our swimmers making history at the Olympic Games, claiming four golds and eight medals in total - testament to the outstanding work they and the staff across British Swimming and our Home Nation partners continue to put in.

"There was also a best-ever return from the Europeans in Budapest, and more promising signs from our younger athletes against some of the best in the world at the European Junior Championships.

"The 2021/22 season will feature a World Championships in Fukuoka, European Championships in Rome and a Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and as ever, we will be looking to move things on again with our WCP athletes. For some of the younger ones, they will be on a longer-term journey toward Paris, and we look forward to working with them in that as they develop towards 2024 and beyond.

"But for every athlete on the programme, the next Olympic Games are now less than three years away, and the build towards that begins now."

Athletes in the 'Podium' tier include Olympic champions Adam Peaty, Tom Dean, James Guy and Duncan Scott.