I’m still pinching myself, says Emily Diamond
24 July 2012
Loughborough University’s Emily Diamond says she still cannot believe she is going to the Olympic Games after being kitted out at the Team GB Loughborough Preparation Camp.
Emily, 21, was one of eight athletes with Loughborough links who finally got to pick up their Team GB kit at the weekend.
Emily, who is in the 4x400m relay squad, said: “It has been fantastic. I have never been part of anything this big before.
“I have been involved in junior internationals but nothing at senior level. Putting on my Olympic kit is just a dream come true. I am still pinching myself and I can’t quite believe it’s happening.”
Emily, a 200m sprint specialist, made the GB team for the 4x400m relay on the back of just one winter of proper 400m training under coach Jared Deacon, whose training group she joined after moving to Loughborough in 2009 to study Sport and Exercise Science.
She was selected after finishing fourth in the 400m in 53.36secs behind Christine Ohuruogu at the Olympic Trials last month.
Yet just three months ago Emily was competing in the British Universities and College Championships (BUCS), where she won the 200 metres in 23.93secs.
That was at Olympic Park and she says that experience will be a big help when she returns there next month for the 4x400m.
She said: “The fact that I have won a championship in the Olympic stadium is a great feeling.
“I remember people saying to me, ‘you will be back’, and the fact that I’m going back competing for Team GB is amazing.
“We went through the whole process that everyone is going to be going through in a few weeks’ time, the warm-up on the warm-up track, going to the first call, then the second call.
“The fact that I have done that will make me more relaxed, I’ll know what to expect.”
Emily says Loughborough has been vital to her fantastic progress. “I always say that Loughborough is amazing,” she said.
“I have never wanted to go to any other university. The facilities here are fantastic, with the HiPAC, the outdoor track, the Powerbase gym. You could not ask for anything more.
“And then there is the support I have got from the university with the scholarship, it has been amazing.”
She said the university had allowed her to stretch the third year of her course over two years, which means she will be studying during the Games.
She said her exams were scheduled for last month and clashed with the under-23 championships, where she won the 200m.
She added: “The university let me move my exams to September, which was great at the time.
“But now I have been selected I will have to revise in the Olympic Village and the holding camp, which is when I’ll be focusing on the Olympics.
“But I am quite an organised person, so I think I will be able to cope with that.”
Emily has been in great form in the 100m and 200m, winning her last three races, and she thinks the Great Britain women’s 4x400m relay team have a great chance of a medal.
She said: “Our team is very strong, we won the world indoors last summer.
“We have got a great chance of a medal – I just hope they let me run in the heats.”