Lucas aims for Commonwealth Games standard

When the 2014 Commonwealth Games were in Glasgow, Lucas Thomson had just taken up diving.
Lucas Thomson competes at the Olympic diving pool in BarcelonaLucas Thomson competes at the Olympic diving pool in Barcelona
Lucas Thomson competes at the Olympic diving pool in Barcelona

Three years on, the Balerno High School pupil is now a GB medallist and aiming to be in Team Scotland for next year’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

This month, Lucas competed in the Elite Junior National Championships in Plymouth and made finals in three events in the 16-18 years age-group. He collected the bronze medal in the 1m springboard.

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Now the 16-year-old is looking forward to the Scottish Championships at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool when he will line up alongside 2014 Games competitor, James Heatly, in the 10m synchro.

“It will be our first competition together but we are hoping to make the Games qualification standard,” said Lucas. “We think we can do it, it is whether we are good enough to make it through in the six dives on the day.

“At the last Commonwealth Games I had just started and didn’t manage to get tickets for the diving. But I did get to see some other sports live.

“I started off as a gymnast – I did it for about seven years – but then I tried diving. I went along with some friends about three years ago and absolutely loved it.”

Lucas admits he couldn’t reach the high level without the help of his school.

“Everyone has been great,” said the fourth-year pupil. “I am even allowed to miss one period every Friday so I can go to afternoon training. I train six days a week, including twice on a Tuesday when we have a morning session – I have to get up at 4:30am.”

Lucas is also grateful for the recent financial support by way of a grant from Sports Aid Scotland. “It really helps with the travel costs,” he admitted.

With Heatly and 2016 Olympian, Grace Reid, as training mates in Edinburgh, and GB enjoying a boost in the Tom Daley era, Lucas has entered the sport at a ripe time.

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“Diving is a great community,” he said. “I am now a member of the GB squad and we have get-togethers twice a year. At the moment, next year’s Commonwealth Games is the goal. But getting to an Olympics is the ultimate aim.”

And he won’t be shirking his school work. “The sciences are my favourite subject, especially biology. I want to go to university, and probably study biochemistry.”