James Heatly hopes Birmingham 2022 won’t be the last Commonwealth Games as Scotland’s selected diver
The 24-year-old from Edinburgh has become the first Scotsman to be officially selected for what is expected to be a 22-person aquatic team. He used his bronze medal at Gold Coast in 2018 as a stepping stone to reach his first Olympic final in Tokyo. and continued his family’s rich history in the Commonwealths following the golden treble won by his late grandfather Peter in the 1950s. But with the future of the Games uncertain due to a lack of interest in organizing a 2026 edition and claims its mark has become tarnished, the Scottish champion is hoping it will gain a reprieve as a vehicle to allow young talent to dip their toes in the water. “It’s really sad that this can go away,” Heatly said. “I love the Games as a whole and it’s such a great opportunity. Because for me the British team are so strong. I was able to compete in Glasgow and Gold Coast when I didn’t even think I would have been part of the English team at Gold Coast at the time. . So it would be a real shame if he left. And I really hope it isn’t. With para-swimmers not counting towards the quota, Heatly is expected to be joined by defending champion Grace Reid in the Scottish squad. Originally selected on the individual springboard, he will also push for a place in sync for close friend Ross Beattie after the duo secured a standard of consideration together in Edinburgh earlier this month. “We worked really hard on the sync,” he said. “This has been in the works for maybe a year and a half before Covid. And then obviously we couldn’t train for that and then I had the Olympics so that wasn’t really a goal. . Heatly will now travel to Abu Dhabi this week for the Fina Aquatic Festival and an open water diving spot to end her year.