James Heatly wins gold to complete full Euro set

James Heatly shows off the gold medal he won in Baku after defeating Ilia Molchanov in the 3m springboard

James Heatly shows off the gold medal he won in Baku after defeating Ilia Molchanov in the 3m springboard

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Edinburgh’s James Heatly completed a full set of diving medals at the European Games in Baku when he won gold in the men’s three-metre springboard event.

Heatly, 18, had already taken one-metre springboard bronze, three-metre synchronised springboard silver in Azerbaijan and his confidence was evident as he scored 541.65 points, more than 18 points clear of the rest of the field.

Team GB’s most decorated athlete at the Games was in the medal positions for much of the final in the Baku Aquatics Centre but gold looked in doubt with Russian Ilia Molchanov in pole position. However, the Russian struggled with his penultimate dive and Heatly held his nerve with his final dive, a back two-and-a-half somersault, to complete an outstanding hat-trick of medals.

“At the beginning of the event I didn’t think I would do it. But when he (Ilia Molchanov) dropped that dive (fourth dive) I thought there was a chance,” Heatly said.

“I didn’t think I was going to win anything. I’m over the moon to win three medals, especially as I didn’t expect it. I’m going to go and see my parents now and give my grandad [former Commonwealth champion Peter Heatly] a call.”