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Carrying the baton of talent

Emily Diamond talks about training at Bath for nine years, battling with injuries and working remotely with her coach in Scotland to get ready for Rio.

Emily Diamond preparing for Rio
Emily Diamond training on the track at Bath

A dream come true

I can’t wait to go to Rio. I qualified in the 4x400m relay for the London Olympics four years ago but didn't get a run-out. This year, I am part of Team GB for Rio, not only in the relay but also in the individual. How amazing!

Growing up as an athlete

My mum and her mum used to be long jumpers and my nan went to the European Championships. So I have that athletics talent in my blood. My mum first brought me down to the University of Bath when I was 16 and I joined Paul Weston’s long-jump group, which I much preferred to cross-country.

After a few months Paul realised I had potential as a sprinter, so he moved me across to Dan Cossins’ training group and I really started to blossom. I qualified for the English Schools Championships and managed to get a silver medal in the 200m, which was a big boost.

I studied at Loughborough University but used to come back to the University of Bath during holidays for training. I’ve been at Bath since graduation in 2013.

Training remotely

My current coaching set-up is a little unusual as my coach, Jared Deacon, is based in Scotland. I’d worked with him in the past and had been successful; he knows exactly how I work as an athlete. I missed the whole of 2015 through injury and decided I needed to work with someone who knew me really well.

Jared was a perfect choice but living in Scotland was far from ideal. The good thing is we are both very organised and very studious, so we have made it work. We are on the phone and FaceTime all the time.

One of the coaches here at Bath, James Hillier, will film me doing blocks of training and then we send the footage straight across to Jared so he can look at it and give me instant feedback before I have to do my next rep. Technology means I can have a coach several hundred miles away and it’s as if he is here.

Finding the perfect balance between training and day job

I’m not a full-time athlete. I work as an administrator in the sports department at Prior Park College in Bath, so I tend to train on my own in the afternoons. I tried being a full-time athlete – not having a day job, being able to train when I wanted to – and I didn’t really enjoy it.

I’m one of those people who needs to be doing something, I can’t just sit at home waiting for training. The fact I’m able to go to work in the mornings and interact with non-athletes is nice, it’s a mental time-out from the sport which I personally feel massively benefits me.

‘Having not only British Champions but future Olympians training at Bath can only be good for the venue.’
Emily Diamond


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