Capital diver Grace Reid turned on the style in her home pool to edge glory when giving the Commonwealth’s leading one metre springboard specialists a run for their money.
The 18-year-old Edinburgh Diving Club ace, in her second Games, eventually finished fifth with a personal best points tally after a performance that is bound to provide encouragement for today’s three metre board event.
However, for long spells the packed arena dared to dream that a medal might just be on the cards – even if the scoreboard which had Grace lying second going into the last of her five dives was a slight case of smoke and mirrors.
Whereas rivals, including eventual winner Jennifer Abel of Canada, who defended the title won in Delhi four years ago, risked all on a higher tariff ultimate plunge Grace opted for the security of a “go to” dive.
In the esoteric world of diving, the degree of difficulty is heavily factored in to scoring and so Grace slipped down off the podium.
Not that she appeared upset in any way, preferring to take huge comfort from smashing a personal best helped by a massive improvement in her forward one-and-a-half somersault with two twists.
What’s more, the former Watson’s College pupil, who has a date with exam results next week, claimed to be cocooned from the reality of the situation by – between dives! – turning in to headphones blaring out, amongst other music, the sound of Beyonce.
“I was in my little bubble with had my headphones up full blast [so] I had no idea,” said Reid. “Somebody was telling me I was up and down the leader board like a yo-yo [but] I couldn’t have told you.”
As for making her last dive a back-one-and-a-half somersault piked rated 2.3 while each of her 11 rivals went for something more difficult in a schedule which has to be produced in advance and strictly adhered to, Grace said: “It’s just the way my list works out. That is an easier dive but a solid dive. When I was feeling a bit nervous I relax into that, but if it had been something harder it might not have worked out.
“It’s a dive I had been doing for a while. I came in for a PB and I got a blooming good one. I’m very pleased.”
In fact, Grace scored 269.40 points compared with an unprecedented 257.90 in the morning preliminaries and was just 10 points off the medal placings. “There’s a lot to take away, things my coach will be working on,” she said.
The extent to which Grace has had to battle through he pain barrier to reach these Games was also revealed when looking ahead to today’s dive off the higher board.
“I’ve been training a wee bit more now my shoulder is better but I’ve not had as much preparation as I would have liked,” she explained. “I had what’s called a subluxation which meant I had dents in two bones. I only started doing more than a jump in May. It’s wear and tear. It didn’t need surgery, although that was an option.”
Less nervous than expected, Grace claimed to be lifted by a crowd that included First Minister, Alex Salmond.
“They lifted me up over the boards. I’m putting this down as one of my top three [competitions],” said the former European junior and British senior champion on the three metre board.
As for prospects of improving her placing today, Grace was not inclined to put any more pressure on herself.
“I just like it when I dive well,” she said when asked about a preference of events.
Runner up to Abel was Maddison Keeney with another Aussie, Esther Qin, third.
Meanwhile, the men’s synchronised 10 metre platform title went to Australia’s Domonic Bedggood and Matthew Mitcham ahead of England’s Tom Daley and James Denney who took silver.