Friday, December 3, 2021

Composed Reid takes springboard title

Grace Reid showed a great level of composure to secure victory in the 3m springboard final on day 2 of The Scottish National & Open Diving Championships, which are being held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

Reid took the lead in the penultimate round and finished strongly with her final dive, a forward 2½ Somersaults, 1 Twist, Pike. Her final score of 297.60 also meets the qualifying standard for the event at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.

Reid spoke of her performance and said,

“I’m relieved to say the least. I wasn’t feeling 100% this morning but I think sometimes it’s just a case of show up, give it everything you have, and to put in a performance like that, I’m incredibly pleased and very relieved to have had five really steady dives in the tank to start the season off.”

Having missed out on the qualifying standard in the 1m event yesterday, Reid was asked if she was aware how close the points were. She said,

“The qualifying standard does play on my mind. I knew I had to dive well but I think for me the scores were going to be a bonus this weekend. I was more interested in coming back, enjoying my sport and being able to just compete. That’s something I’d lost for a while, but I felt like myself this weekend so that’s in some ways better than any score. But the fact I got the score is the cherry on top of the icing.”

Speaking about the last couple of months post Olympics, Reid said,

“I fell apart after the Olympics, but that’s OK. Sometimes you have to fall apart in order to put yourself back together again. I’m really grateful that the people around me have helped me massively, the last couple of months in particular. It was really difficult. That was not the summer I had dreamed of and it was really hard to swallow. But sometimes you have to take a really hard look in the mirror and see what you were doing wrong. And there was a lot that I had to answer to and obviously now when I’m taking control of those things and actually doing those things I’m meant to be doing I can dive quite well, which is really reassuring after all these years in the pool.

“My drive to do better is in everything I do, when I was at school, now in my studies at Uni, this here in the pool and I just always want to do the absolute best in what I do no matter what it is. And that can be both a blessing and a curse. But I really do feel that I’m not done yet with diving and this weekend has shown that I’ve still got more to give and there’s still so much more that I want to achieve. I’d like to keep going and say I’ve done everything I want to do in the sport.

“If last year taught me anything there’s no such thing as perfect. Expect the unexpected and after the last few months in particular, count every day and enjoy the process in each day and what that has to offer, no matter how small. That’s all that matters to me at the moment.”

Yasmin Harper (City of Sheffield Diving) won silver and Clara Kerr (Aberdeen Diving Club) won bronze.

James Heatly returned to the podium taking the title in a thrilling 3m springboard final, which saw Heatly move from bronze into gold with his final dive, a Forward 4½ Somersaults, Tuck, which scored 91.20 points.

Heatly scored 459.95 in total, with Jordan Houlden (City of Sheffield Diving Club) in silver with 441.55 points and Yona Knight-Wisdom of Jamaica taking bronze in 427.75 points.

Heatly spoke of the competition,

“For me the focus for this meet was to use my new dive, the Back 3½ Somersaults in round four, which didn’t go so well, but I just need to get some experience in on that. But those boys made it really difficult and it shows the standard and just how good British Diving and Scottish Diving is in that event. It also shows that if anyone makes a mistake they are opening the door for any number of athletes to get in and take it from you.”

Talking about the new dive, Heatly said,

“This dive has been in the pipeline for a few years and it is seriously difficult. It has taken a while to get it to this stage. There were a few dives I was planning on putting in for the Tokyo season, I didn’t put this one in for then, but now going into the Paris cycle, it’s time to start pushing it.”

Talking about his desire to move things on, Heatly said,

“I just tend to stay in my own lane and keep pushing myself to get better and see where that takes me. Obviously, I want to be pushing those two Chinese boys at the top of the rankings and Jack (Laugher) and be on the podium. I can’t control what they do, I can only control what I do and what is frustrating and exciting about finishing ninth at the Olympics is the fact that I came ninth with a performance that I wasn’t happy with. I know there’s room to grow.”

Diving results from the Meet can be found on Dive Recorder.

The Scottish National & Open Diving Championships are at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh from 2-5 December.