Twelve-year-old Scot set for Rio berth

Abby Kane

Abby Kane will become Britain’s second-youngest ever Paralympian if selected for Rio

Twelve-year-old Scot Abby Kane is in line for a place at the Rio Paralympics after reaching the qualifying standard at the Para-swimming trials in Glasgow.

Kane set a new British record and went under the required time of one minute 13.24 in the heats of the S13 100m backstroke with a time of 1:11.92.

The Largs Academy student improved it further to 1:11.19 in the later heats.

“I’m really looking forward to the chance to be in Rio. It’s amazing,” she told BBC Sport.

Kane turns 13 in August, but she will not be Britain’s youngest Paralympian if selected for Rio. England’s Joanne Round was just 12 years old when she competed at the 1988 Seoul Games.

The youngster, who has Stargardt disease – a condition that leads to progressive vision deterioration – started swimming when she was seven for the North Ayrshire Club.

Her older brother Fraser, who also has the condition, was a swimmer before switching to cycling.

“I really didn’t think I would make it onto the team this year,” she added.

“My friends and family are all so supportive and proud of me.”

Slater battles back to form

Kane was one of five backstrokers to achieve qualifying standards on Sunday, along with Ollie Hynd (S8), James Crisp (S9), Paralympic champion Jonathan Fox (S7) and Steph Slater (S8).

Slater, formerly a talented able-bodied swimmer before suffering a series of health problems, said she had been inspired by the performance of friend Jazz Carlin, who qualified for the GB Olympic team last week.

“Seeing what Jazz went through gave me that extra drive to get the time I needed,” said the 25-year-old from Preston, who missed last year’s World Championships after having hip surgery.

“Getting the qualifying time has been a dream which has been a long time coming, but I always had it in the back of my mind that I would go to Rio.

“I missed a month of training and I’ve only been back in the pool for three weeks so I am over the moon to do the time.”

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