Commonwealth swimming champion Bethany Firth’s mum has spoken of her huge pride at watching her daughter secure a gold medal.
Speaking to BBC Good Morning Ulster, Lindsey Firth from Seaforde in Co Down said it was a “surreal” moment.
"Bethany couldn't swim until she was 13 and here we are, 13 years later with all these medals and people actually knowing her name,” she said.
"It’s amazing, we were on the tram yesterday and someone said ‘who are you supporting’ and I said Bethany Firth.
"They said ‘we know her’. And this is people from England and Scotland. I’m just so, so proud of her.”
Speaking about Bethany’s journey, she explained that her learning disability had meant she could forget things and she was “petrified” of the water.
After a swimming coach encouraged her to take lessons, her natural ability soon saw her entered into swimming competitions.
“I laughed and said ‘but she can’t swim’.”
She also praised coach Nelson Lindsay and Swim Ulster for their constant support throughout the years.
In an emotional post-race interview, Bethany also thanked her family for always backing her sporting dreams and expressed her joy, as a newlywed, that her husband could join her at the competition.
“I felt really good, I’m so thankful to be here. My family can be here because they were unable to [go to] Tokyo,” she said.
"They do so much for me and I love them so much, I hope I make them proud.”
Lindsey responded: “She definitely makes us proud...it was just amazing to be there.
"I would have been really gutted to not be standing there cheering her on with her sister, husband, grandma and grandad. It was just amazing.”