Inspirational Nicola strikes gold ... and she’s aiming for more

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A TALENTED swimmer is on top of the world after scooping gold in the British and European Down’s Syndrome Championships.

Nicola Keppie (27), from Kirkintilloch, won gold in the 25m freestyle and silver in the 25m butterfly at the British National Championships in Reading last month.

The win came just three months after the former Merkland School pupil took gold in the 50m backstroke and silver in the 50m front crawl at the European Down’s Syndrome Open Championships in Southampton.

The talented swimmer also scooped gold in the 50m freestyle and 25m butterfly at the West of Scotland Federation of Swimming Clubs for People with a Disability’s Regional Championships at Scotstoun in February.

Nicola, who is a member of Temple Swimming Club in Dennistoun, said: “I was chuffed when I found out I’d got the golds.

“It was a bit of a surprise at the British Championships because my time wasn’t that good for the morning so I didn’t expect it. When I got on the podium and discovered I’d got the gold I just put my hands over my head, I was delighted.”

Nicola (pictured) is now preparing to compete in the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 25m butterfly and 25m breaststroke at the Wishaw Games on Sunday (August 12).

She will also travel to Bath in August 2013 to compete in the Special Olympics after being selected for the Scotland West squad. It’s the third time Nicola has been selected for the team.

She added: “I’m really excited about the Special Olympics. I was shocked when I found out I’d got it.

“I don’t know what strokes I’m doing yet, but I’m hoping I will come back with some medals and make my family proud. I am hoping to get a gold, but I will see how I feel.”

David Keppie, Nicola’s dad, said: “I’m so proud of her. She’s getting great results. I hope that she keeps going and I think she can improve if she keeps her training up.”

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