LOOKING back on her journey over the past seven years, it’s one that Tain Bruce has described as being “quite mad”.

In 2015, the Hillend swimmer was named Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council’s Sports Personality of the Year, for a second time running, following her outstanding achievements in the pool.

Since then, the 24-year-old has gone on from Inverkeithing High School to the University of Edinburgh, for whom she competes, and is now preparing to make her Commonwealth Games debut.

Her selection in the Team Scotland squad that will go for glory in Birmingham was an emotional one for Tain, particularly given she missed out on qualification for the Gold Coast Games four years ago.

Speaking to Press Sport before heading south, she explained: “It was quite emotional when I first found out I’d made the team.

“I guess the last four years have gone fast but, at the same time, it’s also felt quite long at times, so it’s really good to see that all my hard work and perseverance has paid off.

“Last time round, it was obviously a bit unfortunate. I didn’t swim as fast in the qualifying period, and then subsequently, outwith the qualifying period, if I’d swam those times, I would have made the team.

“I knew I was capable of swimming to that standard, and it was just putting that race together on the day this time round.”

When asked if she felt confident that 2022 would have a different outcome, Tain replied: “I think so.

“I branched out a bit; I focused more on my freestyle this time around as well. I’m competing as part of the women’s 4x100 metre freestyle relay so, by adding that to my programme as well, I’ve given myself a few more options. Obviously, I’m still focusing on the fly, but also having the front crawl there as an alternative route.

“It kept training a bit more different as well, having two different strokes to focus on, so I’ve really enjoyed doing that this past year.”

A change of coach to work with Mat Trodden has been a positive for Tain, who will compete in the women’s 50m and 100m butterfly, and the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle, and 4x100m medley, relays.

Family and friends are ready to descend on the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, where the action begins tomorrow (Friday) morning, to cheer her on, and Tain continued: “I guess that’s one of the perks of it being an almost home games, not too far for family and friends to come and watch. Hopefully we’ll have some good Scottish support.

“I’ve done so many races in my career now, and I think it’s just banking on all that experience, having that confidence in myself that I’ve done it before, I can do it again, and just handling that pressure in the lead-up to Games time

“I think for me, to make a final in my individuals, that’ll definitely be a goal of mine. We’ll just have to see how it goes!

“I’m just really excited to be here. I think once we arrive in the village it’ll start to feel a bit more real but I’m just trying to enjoy the experience and not put too much pressure on myself, because I think my best swims have come when I’ve been enjoying myself.”