FOR James Heatly, the next few months should have been some of the most exciting of his career.

The diver has begun the year in the form of his life but within the space of a couple of weeks, everything has been turned upside down for the Edinburgh man as te world of sport experiences an upheaval unlike anything it has seen before.

Almost the entire sporting calendar has been wiped out for the next few months as a result of the coronavirus crisis, with athletes having to come to terms with their training venues now also being closed down.

Heatly trains at the Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, which closed its doors on Thursday evening, with no indication of when it will reopen.

And so while Heatly and his fellow divers are, for now, completely in the dark about what the coming weeks and months hold, he is trying his best to look on the bright side.

“A lot of my international friends from Italy and places like that have been in quarantine so I feel pretty lucky that we’re not at that stage, for now anyway,” he said.

“Everything’s so uncertain so it’s hard to know quite how to feel because we just don’t know what the next few months are going to look like.

“I'm just trying to focus on what I can control because so much of this is outwith our control. We've taken some equipment from the pool to use at home and if the weather is good, we'll try to meet up as a squad and do some land-training wherever we can safely do that.

"No one can predict what’s going to happen so it’s just about training as best we can and taking each day as it comes.”

Heatly has made a real mark in the diving world. His first major breakthrough was winning Commonwealth Games bronze in the 1m springboard in 2018, becoming only the second Scottish diver to win Commonwealth Games silverware after his grandfather, Peter Heatly, who won three golds, a silver and a bronze in the 1950s.

The 22-year-old then followed up his Gold Coast performance with bronze in the European Championships.

It is this year though, that Heatly has become one to watch on the global stage. After defending his British title in January, he won gold in the 3m springboard at the World Cup event in Rostock, Germany last month.

“I’m really over the moon with how my year started,” he said. “I definitely feel like I’ve taken a step up recently. I’d never really made an appearance on the world stage and my first outings have gone extremely well so I’m really happy.”

Heatly made a raft of small tweaks to his regime ahead of this season but it is the psychological improvements that have helped the Scot.

In a sport which allows you only a couple of seconds in the air to execute the most complex of dives, there is no room for error and while Heatly has never had a problem with the mental side of competition, it is the psychological improvements in training that have really made the difference.

“In competitions, I’ve become quite good at only focusing on what I can control - it’s the day-in, day-out at training I’ve been working on,” he said. “The dives we do can be quite scary and so it’s tough to do them every day in training without the adrenaline of competition.

"Particularly when you’re learning something new, say if you’re adding a somersault or a twist or something, it messes with what you’re used to so it can be quite scary the first few times. But after you’ve taken a few hits, you know what way is up.”

While no one knows if Tokyo 2020 will even go ahead, Heatly has no option but to continue to focus on Olympic qualification.

He narrowly missed out on Rio and while that was disappointing, he was able to recover relatively quickly from that blow and is hoping things get back to normal sooner rather than later.

“It would mean everything to make it to the Olympics,” he said of this summer’s Games. “It’s the one every athlete wants to get to and with it, hopefully, being just round the corner, I can taste it now and I’d love to be there.

“It was tough to miss out on Rio but it’d have been a bit of a shock for me to get there, so while it was tough to take at the start, I was able to deal with missing out. I always thought Tokyo would be the one for me so hopefully that comes true.”