WEST FIFE swimmers Ellie Turner and Emma Russell have set their sights on the Commonwealth Games as they wait for a pool return.

The teenagers, who were named as the Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council’s Sports Personality of the Year for 2018 and 2019 respectively, have been out of action for three months because of the lockdown caused by the coronavirus.

While the Woodmill High School pair – although Emma, 16, revealed she is leaving at the end of the current term – have been able to keep their fitness up, either alone or together at a social distance, they admit not being able to train normally has been difficult.

Both Ellie, 17, and Emma, who compete for Perth City and Heart of Midlothian swimming clubs respectively, had also been targeting a place at the European Junior Swimming Championships, which had been due to take place in Aberdeen next month.

Last summer, Emma travelled to the event in Kazan, Russia, with Great Britain and came home with a stunning silver medal achieved in the 4x200 metres relay.

She had hoped to compete once more in front of a home crowd but, while they’ve been denied that opportunity, the talented pals are already looking towards the Commonwealth Games.

The next edition will be held in Birmingham in two years’ time and, in a video interview with Press Sport, both Emma and Ellie admit it is something they’re looking towards.

“We’ll be prime ages and that will be our next big goal,” Emma said.

“It’s quite hard to say anything just now because everything’s up in the air with coronavirus and training. We don’t know when we’re going to get back.

“We don’t know it’s going to feel when we get back, how often we’re going to be able train, who we’re going to be able to train with, and how the coaching’s going to work.

“Hopefully, we get back to a new normal for us. It’ll be alright; I think we’ll work around it, try to get our goals and do our best.”

Before lockdown, both swimmers continued to impress at the Edinburgh International Swim Meet – where they competed alongside illustrious names like Hannah Miley, Aimee Wilmott, Duncan Scott and Adam Peaty – and Ellie believes they’re “not far” from coming into Commonwealth selection consideration.

The backstroke specialist did have high hopes of also being involved at the European juniors, and commented: “We both wanted to make juniors at least this year. I don’t know if we’re going to count as a junior next year or not.

“I think this year quite a lot of Scottish swimmers were in line to make juniors. We’ve got quite a lot of good swimmers at our age.

“I’m pretty sure, two years ago at the British (championships), in the 200 IM (individual medley), it was me, Emma, and three or four other Scottish swimmers taking up a final.

“It shows our age, in Scotland, is the most competitive.”

For now, though, Ellie and Emma are working towards when they might be able to resume training in the water, which remains uncertain.

While they have been able to do routines set out by their clubs and Scottish Swimming, they have been able to count on each other for motivation and support.

“I can’t go and swim anywhere – I don’t have a pool to swim in – so it’s been a lot more land-based stuff, like running,” Ellie continued.

“I’m not used to doing that, so it’s hard to do because I’m used to being in the water and not having to properly go out and do exercises like running. It’s just adapting to different situations.

“Scottish Swimming have given us things to do, like workouts and stuff, but it’s just trying to adapt to that because it’s not the normal.

“Me and Emma live quite close to each other and we’ve been going on bike rides. We went on one across the (Forth Road) bridge with some of our friends, and then we went on another one the next day, but the next day was so much better because we could just go off each other’s pace, rather than have to race everyone else who were going really fast!”

Emma added: “I think it’s quite good we live near each other so we can do whatever training we have to do together.

“It’s quite good to do different things but I am missing the pool side of it, the proper training, because I’m not used to constantly doing land stuff.

“It’s really hard mentally to stay in the house because we’re used to doing it. We’re probably some of the busiest people – we never stop doing stuff – so going straight from a busy, non-stop schedule to no swimming, and not being allowed to go out, was really hard.

“But I think now we’re getting to this point of lockdown, it’s getting easier because we’re allowed to see people at a distance, and even that’s a lot better and be able to exercise with people.”