Grace Reid confident and ready for Rio challenge, says coach

Grace Reid competing in the women's 3m springboard final at the 2016 British Diving Championships. Picture: Tony Marshall/Getty
Grace Reid competing in the women's 3m springboard final at the 2016 British Diving Championships. Picture: Tony Marshall/Getty
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Grace Reid’s coach has hailed the hard work that she has put in over the last few months after the Scottish diver was named in the British team for the forthcoming Olympics.

Jen Leeming of the Edinburgh Diving Club has worked with the 20-year-old for more than a decade.

In that time she has seen her grow from a youngster learning the ropes to someone who is on the cusp of travelling to Rio to compete in the women’s three-metre individual event in August.

Edinburgh University student Reid was one of 11 divers named by the British Olympic Association yesterday, including Tom Daley and Tonia Couch who are both heading to their third Olympics.

As well as Reid, Daniel Goodfellow, Lois Toulson and Freddie Woodward will be making their debuts at the event.

The Team GB diving team is completed by Sarah Barrow, Alicia Blagg, Rebecca Gallantree, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears.

Reid has previously competed in two Commonwealth Games – in Delhi in 2010 and Glasgow in 2014 – and Leeming
believes the strides that she has made in the last 12 months put her in a good place ahead of Brazil.

“Grace has always worked very hard as a diver and had the natural talent, but I think in recent times she has started to have more confidence in herself and has taken that into competitions,” Leeming said.

“I have seen her learn to take more lessons out of each event that she competes in and then put those things into practice.

“Even when she has a bad dive nowadays she does not let it knock her as much as before, she simply wipes it from her mind and starts to focus on the next dive.

“To see her grow as a person and as a diver over the last few years is brilliant and I am just so pleased for her that she has secured this place at the Olympics.

“I think she will definitely embrace the challenge that is ahead and go out there and do her best.”

Team GB Diving Team Leader Alexei Evangulov added: “We have selected a strong team of divers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it’s good to see four divers making their Olympic debut.

“In the last two years we have seen impressive performances from the team to not only win medals at the World 
Championships in 2015, but also secure all but one of our quota places at the World Cup in February.

“I know that each one of our 11 divers will continue to work hard in the coming weeks to ensure they are in the best shape possible for their competition day in Rio.”

For the next few weeks, Reid will continue her preparations for the Olympics in Edinburgh at the Royal Commonwealth Pool with Leeming.

She will then head to Bolzano in Italy to get used to diving outdoors before joining the rest of the Team GB divers at a pre-Rio camp in America.

Meanwhile, Reid’s Edinburgh Diving Club team mate James Heatly, 19, just missed out on Olympic selection.