Capital diving star Lucas Thomson turned 17 this week, but he admits all of the birthday presents in the world could not make him smile as much as the Commonwealth Games experience did.
The Edinburgh Diving Club member put in the performance of his life in Australia on Saturday to finish just outside the medals in the men’s 10m event.
He had a great first Games on the Gold Coast, finishing 12th in the 1m event last Wednesday and then fifth with partner James Heatly in the 3m synchro last Friday at the Optus Aquatic Centre.
However, he saved the best for last at the weekend and scored a stunning 402.80 points in the final of the 10m event to finish fifth in what was a world class field.
He was only beaten by winner Domonic Bedggood (Australia, 451.15), Matty Dixon (England, 449.55), Vincent Riendeau (Canada, 425.40) and Noah Williams (England, 405.85).
Thomson turned 17 on Monday and returns home to sit exams at Balerno High School in the coming days, but for now he is in dreamland.
“I am just so happy right now,” he said with a beaming smile that did not leave his face throughout the whole Games.
“After the prelims on the Saturday morning I was a bit down because I had not dived my best, but I spoke to a couple of people and regrouped in the afternoon and to come out in the evening and dive like that was brilliant.
“I have just loved this whole experience from day one. To see other Scottish divers medal and show that I can compete at this level is a dream come true for me I must say.
“When I was first selected for the squad a few months ago it all seemed like a bit of a dream and even when we were in the training camp in Brisbane it still seemed a bit unreal.
“However, once we got into the village and were training in the pool where the competition was I started to feel a lot better and once the crowds were in on the event nights there was such a great atmosphere that I tried to feed off that and just enjoy it.
“To get two fifth-placed finishes on my Games debut and it is really special to me.
“It was also really nice to have my parents in the crowd as they have supported me in everything I have done.”
Edinburgh Diving club coach Jen Leeming was impressed by Thomson’s performance on the big stage.
She said: “Lucas just turned up in the 10m final and put everything together. He was walking tall and smiling and when he does that his best dives come out.
“Everything we talked about between the prelim and the final he put into practice and I am very proud of him.
“He has just loved this whole experience and lapped it up and I think he has a big future ahead and will only get better and better.