Heatly bags European bronze after GB win pair of synchro medals

9 Aug 2019

James Heatly showed his class in Ukraine on Friday evening as he put together a quality display of diving to win European 3m bronze.

In a high quality competition the Edinburgh diver produced a brilliant series, in the medals throughout, eventually clinching bronze. The pick of his efforts came in round four, a Forward 4 ½ Somersaults Tuck (109C) scoring him 91.20 points, the second highest score of the evening.

Second heading into the final round, Heatly was just short of his best with his final attempt, meaning it was bronze for the Scot behind Evgenii Kuznetsov and Patrick Hausding. Ross Haslam was also in action for Great Britain and he too put in a strong display, consistent throughout, to finish a fine fifth.

A delighted Heatly said afterwards:

“I was a bit nervous before the final, as the World Championships were a big disappointment for me [Heatly finished 46th in the prelims], so to come here and get this medal, it’s a very good and it makes me very happy. I didn’t watch the results during the competition - I had no idea how close it was at any stage of the final. I knew I dived very well, so I’m glad - this is my first medal in this event at the Europeans.”

The previous day Matthew Dixon and Noah Williams also won bronze, renewing their partnership in the Men’s 10m Synchro to great effect. By the end of round four it was a three-horse-race for the medals between them, the Russian’s and the home pair from Ukraine. With a big lead heading into round five the Russian’s conceded ground, which after the other two nations produced quality jumps meant it would all come down to the final round.

Dixon and Williams performed a Forward 4 ½ Somersaults Tuck (109C), which was the highest difficulty dive of the competition, meaning it was an all-in situation, as an outstanding dive would have won them the title. As it was they fell just short despite an 84.36 effort, meaning they had to settle for bronze, just 0.60 points behind the Ukrainians and 4.74 behind the Russians after a thrilling competition.

Dixon commented:

“We didn’t expect that medal because anything can happen on any given day. We just tried to do our best dives and see what happened. That was a really good competition - we got personal bests, we got the bronze medal and we are really happy with it.”

Williams also won silver in the Mixed 10m Synchro alongside Eden Cheng, a surprise result given this was the first time they’ve ever dived as a pairing. Producing a great series, other than a slight blip in round four, the duo always looked like they’d be on the podium, but it was just a matter of which colour.

Afterwards Williams said:

“We are very satisfied with this silver since it was the first time we have dived together! Before that, both of us worked with different partners, so it was a bit strange at first, but it turned out great and we won a medal at the end of the day. Because the mixed synchro is neither mine, nor Eden’s main event, we just dived here for fun. It was quick, enjoyable and I liked it.”

Full results from the European Diving Championships can be found here