James Heatly aiming to make a splash on home territory

James Heatly begins his campaign in the 10m synchro event tomorrow
James Heatly begins his campaign in the 10m synchro event tomorrow
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Capital diver James Heatly is looking forward to diving competitively at the Royal Commonwealth Pool again at the British Diving Championships.

The event, over four days, starts in the Capital this afternoon with the mixed synchro event. Edinburgh Diving Club’s Heatly, 20, is set to enter the action tomorrow.

And, although Heatly trains at the pool regularly, the chance to compete against some of the best divers in his home city brings back memories of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Then he was just a teenager, but he has come on a lot since that experience and, with selection opportunities for the European Championships later in June and the World Championships in July still up for grabs, he is keen to put in a good performance.

Heatly said: “It is very exciting for me to have a major event like this coming to Edinburgh.

“The facilities at the Commonwealth Pool are great and I am sure the other divers from across the country will enjoy coming up and diving here, but myself and the other 
Edinburgh-based competitors have to try and use our familiarity with the venue to our advantage if we can.

“The standard of diving across the board in Britain is very high just now with youngsters keeping everyone on their toes and I would imagine spectators will be in for some great contests if they come along and watch over the next four days.”

Last month, Heatly picked up a gold medal for Great Britain at the FINA Grand Prix in Puerto Rico.

Along with Freddie Woodward from the City of Sheffield Club, he reached the top of the podium in the 3m synchro event.

However, first up at this meet for Heatly is the 10m synchro event with fellow Edinburgh Diving Club member Lucas Thomson.

The Balerno High School pupil is a good prospect and in April he competed in the Elite Junior National Championships in Plymouth and made finals in three events in the 16-18 years age-group. He collected the bronze medal in the 1m individual event. “Lucas has come on really well and we are excited to be diving together,” Heatly said.

“It is a bit of an ongoing project, but we will give it our best and see where it takes us. For Lucas it is a great chance to be exposed to a high level of competition and to watch some of the best around up close and learn from them.”

On Saturday, Heatly will be back in action in the 3m individual heats and then the 3m synchro event with Woodward.

And on Sunday he will hope to have the 3m individual final.

“It is a big few days coming up, but I have been training hard and I feel in a good place heading into this meet,” Heatly added.

“There are a busy few months coming up and I am focused.”

Meanwhile, it looks like Scotland’s best female diver Grace Reid is going to miss the event with a slight niggling injury.

The 21-year-old has had a busy schedule of late with diving trips to China and other countries for World Series competitions as well as university exams to contend with.

The Edinburgh Diving Club member is still looking forward to watching the action though and said: “I’m really excited that the British Championships are coming to Edinburgh. It’s a great pool and I know that the competitors will have a lot of support locally.

“I look forward to seeing my friends and lots of divers I know competing.”

• The British Diving Championships take place in Edinburgh at the Royal Commonwealth Pool from June 1-4, tickets available from www.theticketfactory.com