Diver Grace Reid ready to up the ante in Rio bid

Grace Reid plans to introduce tougher dives to raise her standard
Grace Reid plans to introduce tougher dives to raise her standard
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Capital diver Grace Reid will have to balance her training with studies when she starts a university degree this month. However, with a chance of going to the Rio Olympics in 2016 still in her sights, she is as focused as ever.

The Edinburgh Diving Club member burst onto the scene in 2010 when, aged just 14, she was selected for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Since then she has had a very successful career, winning a number of medals, representing Scotland again at Glasgow 2014 and winning a World Series bronze in the 3m mixed synchro springboard with fellow Capital diver James Heatly just a few months ago.

Now 19, Reid has just completed her first year out of George Watson’s College and is about to start studying sports science at Edinburgh University.

With the British Championships in February the big one – how she gets on there will have a big say on whether she still has a chance at the Olympics in the 3m individual springboard event – Reid is delighted to be fully fit as the season gets underway after terrible injury problems in 2014.

Reid – who was speaking after it was announced that Knight Frank’s Edinburgh Commercial office is to sponsor her going forward – recounts: “In the lead up to Glasgow 2014, my left shoulder basically popped out of its socket.

“That was catastrophic for a diver because we need our shoulders for everything that we do.

“There were setbacks along the way and I felt vulnerable going into the Games, but I put trust in myself and I knew I could do the dives that I had been working on.

“A couple of weeks after the Games I saw a surgeon and it was clear there was lots of things needing sorted in the shoulder, so last September I had surgery and that put me out of action for four months.”

At the end of that spell out, a warm weather camp in Australia greatly helped Reid’s recovery and in February she won the 3m mixed synchro springboard at the British Championships with fellow teenager Heatly.

A ninth-place finish in the top-class FINA Grand Prix 3m individual springboard in Canada followed before the bronze medal with Heatly at the World Series event in London in May.

“That was unbelievable, we just went into it with no concerns or worries. We had not trained a lot for mixed synchro before, but in the lead up to London we started to do that and it was really fun and a nice distraction,” Reid explained.

“Knowing James so well for a number of years helps because we know how each other works and that is an advantage – the experience was just brilliant.”

Since then a personal best in the 1m individual springboard came at the European Championships and, after a rest, pre-season has been filled with learning more complex dives at 3m level that may help Reid reach new heights in 2016.

Reid said: “In order to progress to the next level you have to introduce higher tariff dives. I am 19 now and I am a senior athlete so I need to go for it. We brought in two new ones this year and will be bringing in another two for the season to come.

“This will be a tough season. Firstly, I have to get my new dives nailed down ahead off the British Championships in February.

“At those British Championships the aim for me is to perform as well as I can in the 3m which could then secure me a spot at the Rio Test event later that month. From there an Olympic place could be earned – so I have to go out and grab the opportunity with both hands.”

In the months ahead, Reid will be involved in a range of activities with her new sponsor Knight Frank. These will include helping the office fundraise for its “Day of Giving” in October, meeting the firm’s clients and joining Knight Frank at events.