SWIM star Emma Russell says that she “still can’t get over” coming home from the European Junior Championships with a silver medal.

The talented 15-year-old, a pupil at Woodmill High School, travelled to Kazan, Russia, with a 30-strong Great Britain squad for the prestigious event, which took place between July 3-7, and claimed a memorable podium place in the 4x200 metre freestyle relay.

Emma, who this year has also won Scottish National Age Group Championship gold in the 100m and 200m freestyle, and silver and gold in those events while representing Scotland at the Geneva International Challenge, took to the pool in four events.

She competed in both the 50m freestyle – in which she reached the semi-finals – and the 100m freestyle before taking part in two relays, the 4x100m freestyle and the 4x200m freestyle.

Alongside Freya Colbert, Evelyn David and Tamryn Van Selm, the Heart of Midlothian Swimming Club member then reached the final of the 4x100m, where the British quartet placed seventh in 3:47.40, before saving her best until last.

After winning their prelim, Emma lined-up with Colbert, Van Selm and Mia Selvin for the final and, in a thrilling race that saw Russia grab gold in 8:01.62, the GB quartet held off a strong challenge from Germany to pip them to silver by 0.22 seconds, in a time of 8:033.77.

Asked whether her achievements had sunk in, Emma explained: “Not really yet; I still can’t get over it!

“The whole experience was amazing and I never imagined that I would get a medal. It was the best thing being on the podium, with my team-mates, representing my country.

“In the heats, I thought I’d go out and see what happens, and we made it through to the final in first, which was exciting.

“You expect teams to go a lot faster in the final, but we just swum our hearts out.

“It was really nerve-wracking but, when we saw we were second, I got out of the pool and went to my team-mate Tamryn – we were all in tears!

“For a minute I didn’t take it in. I was in a bit of shock at first and the nerves I had before the race were still there.

“It was really unexpected. Being only 15, to compete for GB was an amazing experience anyway, but winning a medal representing GB was unbelievable.”

Emma will return to the pool this weekend at the Scottish Summer Meet before competing at the British Swimming Summer Championships at the end of the month.

She added: “It was obviously really nerve-wracking but the coaches were really helpful and I made a lot of new friends.

“It has given me a lot of confidence and made me feel proud.”