Grace Reid revealed she was speechless for a spell after becoming Scotland’s first female diving medallist at a Commonwealth Games by winning the 1m event yesterday.
The 21-year-old from Edinburgh qualified for the final in sixth spot, but when she returned to the Optus Aquatic Centre in the evening on the Gold Coast she did not put a foot wrong.
She posted a score of 52.90 points from her first of five dives and did not look back, eventually amassing 275.30 points to beat second placed Georgia Sheehan (264.00) and fellow Australian Esther Qin (252.95) to the top of the podium.
In 1950 Peter Heatly, who went on to be awarded a knighthood and passed away in 2015, won gold in the men’s 10m and silver in the 3m events.
Then in 1954 he took home bronze in the 10m and gold in the 3m and in 1958 he picked up gold in the 10m.
Since then – 60 years – there had been no more diving medals for Scotland until Wednesday when his grandson James picked up a bronze in the men’s 1m event.
And now Reid has spectacularly created history – and with the 3m event to come today she could still have more success to come.
Reid said: “Honestly I am absolutely speechless. I went into the morning prelims to enjoy it and give it everything I had, so to walk away with a gold medal after the final, well if you had said that to me this morning I’d not have believed you.
“In the final I had an inkling that I was sort of diving well. It was a nice feeling and that’s what gave me confidence dive after dive, but I am honestly speechless.
“As too why I have done so well, well it’s a combination of things. I am absolutely loving my sport, I am loving what I do and that enjoyment is giving me a massive boost of confidence.
“Also the support I have had from coaches and support staff in the last couple of years has helped me take things on to the next level, I could not be happier.
“I think back to eight years ago at my first Commonwealth Games in Delhi and I was the only Scottish diver.
“We’ve got a team of four now and two medallists, it’s just unbelievable the work that Scotland Swimming has put in with everything to help all the young divers come through.
“Look at us now, we are competing at the top end.”
In the middle of 2017 Reid relocated from Edinburgh to London to train with Tom Daley’s coach Jane Figueiredo in the Olympic pool.
Before that she had been a part of the Edinburgh Diving Club set-up since she was very young, working alongside coach Jen Leeming and latterly Nick Robinson-Baker but, after last summer’s World Championships, she thought the time was right for a change.
She admitted at the time that it was a big decision to move south, the former George Watson’s College pupil also putting her applied sports science studies at Edinburgh University on hold, but felt it was the right one to help her take her diving to the next level.
And she has been proved correct with this result, picking up Scotland’s 40th medal of what has been a hugely successful Games overall.
“I haven’t taken it all in yet, but for now I have to refocus on the 3m event and then celebrate after that,” she concluded.
Also yesterday, Heatly and Lucas Thomson finished fifth in the men’s 10m synchro event and today, as well as Reid in the 3m event, 16-year-old Thomson dives in the 10m individual event.