COUNTY swimming star Sam Downie and judoka Hannah Wood are off to the Commonwealth Games after being selected for the Scottish team in Birmingham.

Sixteen-year-old East Lothian Swim Team member Downie can add the Commonwealth call-up to an already great season which has seen him break Scottish and British records.

He recently ventured to Madeira to compete for Team GB in the World Para Swimming Championships, finishing seventh in both the S8 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle in his first foray into elite international competition.

He will now head to the Commonwealth Games as one of Scotland’s 24 elite swimmers, hoping to continue his fantastic year in the pool.

Downie shared his delight at the selection, saying he couldn’t wait to fly the flag in Birmingham.

East Lothian Courier: Sam Downie is heading to the Commonwealth Games. Picture: British SwimmingSam Downie is heading to the Commonwealth Games. Picture: British Swimming

He said: “I’m over the moon to be able to announce that I have been selected to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, I’m looking forward to what should be an amazing experience.”

Ally Whike, Team Scotland aquatics team leader said: “I’m delighted with the make-up of the aquatics team selected to compete for Team Scotland in Birmingham.

“With 60 per cent competing at the Games for the first time, there is an excellent blend of newcomers and experienced campaigners. 

“The competition in Birmingham will be world class and we know the athletes are looking forward to the challenge and will be focusing on giving their best performance of the season when it counts.”

The games kick-off on Thursday, July 28, with the swimming and para-swimming competition taking place between July 29 and August 3.

Meanwhile, Wood will represent Scotland in the -52kg category.

East Lothian Courier: Hannah Wood, third from right, will represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games this summer. Picture: Judo ScotlandHannah Wood, third from right, will represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games this summer. Picture: Judo Scotland

The announcement came as Team Scotland marked 50 days until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games got under way.

Wood, of Tranent, is one of five women – and nine debutants – in the squad.

The judo competition will take place at Coventry Arena between August 1 and 3.

Elinor Middlemiss, Team Scotland Chef De Mission, said “I am delighted to welcome another 50 athletes to Team Scotland, taking our total selected so far to 119. 

“What a special way to mark 50 days to go to the Games.

“It is a real honour to represent Scotland and I am really pleased for the athletes who have been selected.

“There is a real depth of experience and potential in this squad, and I have no doubt that our more experienced members of the team will actively support those who are making their Games debut.

“The excitement for Birmingham 2022 is now really starting to build and I am really looking forward to watching our athletes in action this summer and hearing the roar of support from our fans in the stands.”

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Paul Reynolds, Ross High School headteacher, wished his former pupil the best of luck at the event.

He said: “All at Ross High School are delighted to hear that Hannah has been selected to represent Scotland in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

“Hannah was so committed to her judo all the way through high school and it is great to see that her hard work has paid off.  

“It is fantastic that a past Ross High Sports Personality of the Year will now be competing at such a prestigious international event.  

“We wish her well.”

The pair join Wallyford powerlifter Micky Yule and bowls trio Alex Marshall, Dee Hoggan (both from Tranent) and Lauren Baillie-Whyte (Port Seton) at the Games.