Edinburgh diver James Heatly lays down marker for Commonwealth Games
Edinburgh diver James Heatly believes he and and partner Ross Beattie laid down a marker for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after a golden performance in the Scottish Diving Championships.
The pair pair exceeded the qualifying score required to be selected by Team Scotland to win the 3m synchro final at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, edging out Jamaican pair Yohan Eskrick-Parkinson and Yona Knight-Wisdom.
“It’s been a long ride,” said Heatly, who won bronze in the 1m springboard at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and also competed at Glasgow 2014.
“The Commonwealth Games is such a special competition for me. I got to do the 10m synchro with Lucas [Thomson] on the Gold Coast, but this is the first time, I think, that Scotland will potentially have a men’s 3m synchro team. It’s a new experience and I can’t wait.”
The 24-year-old, who also won the Scottish 3m springboard final, at the weekend, added: “We’ve put a lot of work into this partnership and we knew the score was extremely achievable.
“But you know what diving is like, you have to get up on the board and actually do it.
“I think what’s really special is that we train together every day, we’re best friends in and out of the pool, so to share this with Ross, honestly, it means more than the other events I’ve qualified for.”
Beattie has put his university studies on hold to focus on the Commonwealth Games, but just missed out on the consideration standard in individual events at the Edinburgh meet.
He said: “Now a weight has been lifted off our shoulders and we know we have one in the bag, we can now move forward into the other events at the beginning of 2022, and not have to worry too much about the scores.
“It would mean everything to be on Team Scotland. Just to be recognised for everything I’ve trained for over the past nine or ten years.”
His Edinburgh clubmate Thomson picked up bronze in the Scottish Open with Danny Mabbott.
In the women’s event, Edinburgh’s Emily Bearpark claimed gold alongside Aberdeen’s Clara Kerr.