A SOUTH Tyneside swimmer gets her bid for global glory off the blocks today.
Nicole Lough, 18, will be in the mix for medals in the S14 100m breaststroke at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Montreal.
The swimmer, of Craster Avenue, South Shields, comes into the 17-strong competition as the fourth-fastest swimmer in the world.
She will face stern competition on the way to an expected spot in the final, as world record holder Michelle Alonso Morales lines up alongside her in the heats at 4.20pm.
The super-fast Spaniard has a best time of 1.16.85, more than three seconds quicker than anyone else in the field.
Nicole, who has fought back from a string of injuries to book her place in her debut senior championship, set her personal best of 1.22.61 when breaking the national record twice in the same day at the British Championships in June.
While Michelle Alonso Morales will be the overwhelming favourite for gold, Nicole is the second fastest in her heat and will be confident of securing a place in the final, which takes place at 1.15am on Saturday.
Nicole is determined to soak up the experience, with sights set on the next Paralympics in Rio in 2016.
For updates on Nicole’s progress, log on to www.shieldsgazette.com
The 100m breastroke final will be streamed live by Channel 4 at 1.15am at www.channel4.com/paralympics