Scottish divers excited for their big weekend


A number of Scottish divers are in Plymouth for the next three days taking part in the British Diving Championships.

And with the Commonwealth Games just around the corner in Australia in April and Team Scotland’s diving squad still to be confirmed, there is plenty to play for.

Among those who have travelled south from Edinburgh will be Gold Coast contenders James Heatly, Lucas Thomson and Gemma McArthur.

Heatly, 20, is the most experienced of the trio and at the Scottish National and Open Diving Championships at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh before Christmas he had individual clean sweep to win Scottish titles in the men’s 1 metre, 3 metre and 10 metre events.

It means that he now has 27 individual Scottish national senior titles, the same number of titles that his grandfather Peter, who passed away in 2015, won himself between 1946 and 1958.

As a teenager Edinburgh Diving Club’s James was part of Glasgow 2014 and he is working hard to be in Gold Coast.

Ahead of this weekend – where he will be competing in the men’s 1 metre, 3 metre, 3 metre synchro and 10 metre synchro events – he said:  “It has been a good few months for myself.

“I was lucky enough to head to Australia to the Gold Coast where the Games will be held back in November [to compete in the FINA Grand Prix] and it was a really helpful competition and training camp.

“The Scottish meet then went well and since the new year training has been going well. The British is always a great meet and while the Commonwealth Games are in the back of the mind, but you cannot think that way, you have to focus on each dive one at a time or you can be caught out.

“There will be a high quality field in Plymouth, but I am feeling ready and good to go in my various events.”

James Heatly

One of James’ events, the men’s 10 metre synchro, will be alongside club team mates Lucas.

They won silver in Australia in November in the event and then gold at the Scottish nationals a few weeks later – and for 16-year-old Lucas the last few months have been brilliant.

“I have recently been sitting prelim exams [at Balerno High School] which has taken up quite a bit of my time, but my diving commitments have also increased and I am loving learning more and more at the pool every day,” the 16-year-old said.

“To be able to go to Australia back in November was great as part of my learning curve and there is so much you can take in from competing with and against older and more experienced athletes.

“Working with James and my coach Jen [Leeming] is also good for me because they keep me on my toes and push me to do the best I can.

“I am trying not to think about the Commonwealth Games, I just know that if I concentrate on my diving and keep working hard then I can keep progressing and who knows where it will take me.

“The British Championships are another step along the way.”

In Plymouth Lucas will be diving in the men’s 1 metre, 10 metre and, as mentioned, the 10 metre synchro events.

British Diving Championships 2018

Recently Gemma, who dives for Scotland, moved up to Edinburgh to train alongside James and Lucas in the run up to this event.

“I moved from Guildford to Southampton when I was around 13 or 14 because they have platform facilities there and that is the event that I focus on,” Gemma, who is now 19, explained.

“My dad was born in Scotland so when the opportunity came up to get the chance to move to Edinburgh to train with Jen [the coach], James, Lucas and the others for a while at this important time of year I was very excited.

“The Commonwealth Pool is a great facility and the training environment is good so I am feeling good heading into the Plymouth event.

“I will be diving in the women’s 10 metre event and I am hoping to get the [Team Scotland] consideration score for the Commonwealth Games again if I can.

“I hit the consideration score twice last year, including a PB at the Scottish nationals in December, so I am just looking to build on that and try and put in an even better performance this time.”

Other Scots who are set to be involved in Plymouth include Edinburgh Diving Club’s Ross Beattie and Southampton’s Cameron Gammage.

British Diving Championships schedule

Friday, January 26

Session 1: 10am

Women’s 1m Prelim

Men’s 1m Prelim

Session 2: 2.15pm

Women’s 1m Final

Men’s 1m Final

Session 3: 4.45pm

Women’s 10m Synchro

Men’s 3m Synchro

Saturday, January 27

Session 4: 10am

Men’s 3m Prelim

Women’s Platform Prelim

Session 5: 2.30pm

Men’s 3m Final

Women’s Platform Final

Session 6: 4.45pm

Men’s 10m Synchro

Women’s 3m Synchro

Sunday, January 28

Session 7: 10am

Women’s 3m Prelim

Men’s Platform Prelim

Session 8: 2pm

Women’s 3m Final

Men’s Platform Final

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