Wednesday, April 11, 2018

60 years apart for Heatly diving medals

It was a very emotional night for athlete James Heatly as he became the first Scottish diver in 60 years to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. The last diver to have done this was none other than Heatly’s granddad, the late Sir Peter.

The medal came in the 1m springboard where Heatly progressed to the final in third place after the morning prelims. He improved on every one of his six dives in the final, landing the Forward 3½ Somersaults Pike beautifully. Scoring a new personal best of 399.25 Heatly secured bronze. Jack Laugher (ENG) won gold with 438 points and James Connor (AUS) picked up silver in 412.45.

After the medal ceremony Heatly said,

“I’m a bit overwhelmed right now, that means so much to me, so much to the family.

“I thought being third after the prelim was a bit of a fluke, having missed one of my dives. Tonight I’ve managed to overcome the nerves and make improvements in every round and I’ve never hit my round four dive so well in a competition. In fact that’s the one I’ve been struggling with the most in training so I’m over the moon.”

First to congratulate Heatly was coach Jen Leeming and team-mate and training partner Lucas Thomson who finished 12th in the event. Heatly was then surrounded by around 18 of the swimmers who had come down to show their support, in the same way as the divers had supported them during the swimming competition. Heatly said,

“I was so grateful to see so many of the Aquatics squad here tonight. I hadn’t realised that so many were coming down and it was brilliant to have them cheer us on like that.”

Speaking about his grandfather Heatly finished by saying,

“My granddad is the reason I started diving. With his passing this is the only Commonwealth Games since 1948 that he’s not had any involvement in so to be able to bring another medal back to the family feels very special indeed.”

Heatly returns in the morning for the 3m springboard prelims while Gemma McArthur will make her Team Scotland debut in the 10m Platform.

Diving prelims start at 10:01 local time (01:01 GMT) and finals start at 19:01 local time (10:01 GMT).