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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 23:33 GMT 00:33 UK
Swimmer Sheppard honoured
Alison Sheppard had a wonderful year last year
Alison Sheppard had a wonderful year last year
Scottish swimmer Alison Sheppard's distinguished career has earned her an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Four-time Olympian Alison Sheppard has been the top British female in 50m freestyle for almost 15 years, a period of sustained success almost unheard of in her sport.

Last year proved to be the finest of her career so far, with the highlight a gold at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, making her the first Scottish woman to win in the pool at the Games since 1954.

At the same event, she showed her versatility by winning bronze in the 50m butterfly.

She also claimed gold at the European Championships in Berlin and was runner-up to Sweden's Therese Alshammar at the World Championships in Moscow.

In January of this year, she broke the Commonwealth and British 50m freestyle short-course record yet again with a time of 24.06 seconds.

The 30-year-old Glaswegian made her Olympic debut in 1988 in Seoul, but it was not until she won a silver medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur that she began to make an impact on the international scene.

Bronze was the predominant colour in 1999 as she finished third in the 50m short-course at the World Championships and in the 50m long-course, 4x100m long-course and 4x50m short-course at the European Championships.

Two more bronze medals followed at the 2000 World Championships before she distinguished herself at the Sydney Olympics, finishing seventh in the 50m freestyle final.

She was also part of the 4x100m freestyle team that broke the British record in finishing fifth.

Sheppard currently lives and trains in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and coach Gary van der Meulen.




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13 Jun 03  |  Sport Homepage

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