Diver Heatly thrilled with British title success

Grace Reid and James Heatly celebrate gold in Plymouth
Grace Reid and James Heatly celebrate gold in Plymouth
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Edinburgh divers James Heatly and Grace Reid were thrilled to make history at the recent British Championships in Plymouth by striking gold in the mixed 3m synchro.

They are the first winners of en event that will make its debut at the World Championships in Russia this summer.

The stirring performance was just one of the highlights of a hugely-successful National Championships for the Royal Commonwealth Pool teenagers.

In his final year in the juniors, Heatly, the grandson of Scottish diving legend Sir Peter Heatly, won the 1m and 3m events and showed he is more than ready to step up into the big league.

James finished fifth in the senior category in both the 1m and 3m events and paired up with Sheffield’s Ross Haslam to snatch the silver medal in the 3m men’s synchro.

Eighteen-year-old Reid underwent shoulder surgery at the end of last year but bounced back into action with a silver medal in the women’s 1m springboard and a top-six finish in the 3m.

“It was my goal to win the two junior titles, and it was really good to achieve it,” said Heatly. “It was also exciting to become the first-ever British Champions in the mixed synchro.

“In the men’s synchro, Ross and I live so far apart that we have hardly had any time to train together. We’re a brand new pairing so it was nice to get a medal.”

In his sixth and final year at George Watson’s College – Reid is a former pupil – Heatly, who made his Commonwealth Games debut for Scotland last summer, is planning to make elite diving a part of his lifestyle for the foreseeable future.

“I had a pretty chilled fifth year at school to concentrate on the Commonwealth Games so I’m sitting three Highers this year,” he explained. “I’ve applied for University and College and I’m definitely going to stay in Edinburgh. With the facilities at the Commonwealth Pool and Jenny Leeming as our coach, we couldn’t have a better set-up. We are very lucky to have Jenny up here in Edinburgh.

“The back-up we get from the Scottish Institute of Sport is also as good as you can get.”

So could the Olympics figure in his future plans? “It’s too soon to say,” he said. “The European Games is the immediate goal and I always take one thing at a time. But diving is definitely my focus for the next few years.”