WEST FIFE swimmer Emma Russell has been identified as a potential Olympic medallist after landing a place on a national programme.

The talented teenager, a former pupil at Woodmill High School, is one of 53 athletes selected for British Swimming's World Class Programme (WCP) for the 2020/21 season.

Emma has been identified by the governing body as having the potential to be successful at future Olympics and World Championships.

Athletes on the WCP are split across podium – which supports athletes possessing genuine and strong medal potential at the Tokyo Games, which will take place next year – and podium potential tiers, the latter of which comprises athletes whose performances indicate they have realistic capabilities of making the team for Tokyo, and medal potential at those Games, or in 2024.

Swimmers such as Adam Peaty, a gold-medallist in Rio four years ago, Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic silver-medallist Duncan Scott and 2018 long course European 50 metres backstroke champion Georgia Davies are part of the podium tier, while Emma, who represents Heart of Midlothian and the University of Stirling, will be part of the podium potential tier.

After what British Swimming described as a "thorough and detailed selection process" to draw up the full list of swimmers, past performances and recent form, as well as a "robust assessment of their ability to be successful at this and future Olympiads and World Championships", was analysed.

Emma will receive programme opportunities and targeted support from UK Sport through the WCP's 'Athlete Performance Award', and will benefit from the availability of training camps and competitions during the season, access to sports science and medicine services, and support from the British Swimming performance staff and national institute of sport programmes across the UK's Home Nations.

During the summer, Emma was selected in Scottish Swimming's senior gold squad for 2020/2021 – alongside 29 others – after being identified as having either won, or are likely to win, medals at competitions such as the Commonwealth Games.

Last year, her achievements in the pool included 50m and 100m freestyle wins at the British Summer Championships; setting a new female junior British 50m freestyle record; and winning a 4x200m freestyle relay silver medal while representing Great Britain at the European Junior Championships in Russia.