Capital teenage diving prospect Lucas Thomson is in Italy preparing to take part in his first senior Grand Prix event representing Great Britain over the coming days.
The Bolzano meet is always seen as one of the best on the circuit for young talents to cut their teeth at and Edinburgh Diving Club’s Thomson is excited about getting the opportunity.
The 16-year-old Balerno High School pupil flew out to Verona yesterday with the rest of the team and will be in action on Thursday in the 10m platform men’s event.
On Friday he will then be diving in the 10m platform mixed synchro event with Gemma McArthur, a Scottish diver who trains out of Southampton.
Thomson said: “I am so excited to be going to this event and testing myself at this level against some really experienced and talented divers.
“When I found out that I had made the consideration score for election I was so pleased and I feel that I have come on as a diver so far in 2017 and being part of meets like this will only help to show me what I need to keep working on and where I need to be moving forward.
“Bolzano is quite an iconic setting for diving and it will only be the second time that I have competed in an outdoor event.
“The first was in Barcelona and obviously there can be wind and things that you have to take into consideration, but you just have to adapt accordingly and then stick to your processes while the conditions are the same for everyone.”
Recently at the British Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, Thomson won the 10m platform men’s synchro event with James Heatly. And the youngster believes that result gave him a real confidence boost ahead of this week.
He explained: “It was great diving with James, but we had not dived a lot together in the past so to pick up a gold medal was really amazing and I could not believe it.
“It is great having someone like James to work alongside at the Edinburgh Diving Club and he lives near me so he also gives me lifts to training which is a boost!
“James and Grace Reid have been to big senior meets and dived well, so I just try to learn as much from them as I can whether that be technical things or just how to handle yourself at a meet and refocus after a poor dive.
“I have been lucky to have had two great coaches in recent years too in the shape of Jen Leeming and Nick Robinson-Baker. They are different characters, but they have helped my progress and both hope I do well in Bolzano.”
Since converting from gymnastics a few years ago, Thomson has never looked back in his diving career and with the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year to aim for it will be a big few months for the athlete who has just completed S4.
“To go to the Commonwealth Games would be a dream for me, but I am still young and that is a long way off,” he stated.
“All I have been thinking about since the British Championships has been this Bolzano trip and getting ready to do the best I can.
“I have been training hard and my school were very good last week because they allowed me to take a few days off at the end of the term to train pretty much full-time.
“That has helped me to focus and although I am a bit nervous I cannot wait to dive later this week.”