Emily Diamond so happy at her Olympics call
A DELIGHTED Emily Diamond was last night celebrating her call-up into the Great Britain squad for the Olympic Games in London.
The 21-year-old Bristol & West AC sprinter, from Clifton, has been named in the squad for the 4x400m relay and admitted the news had left her stunned.
"I still simply cannot believe that I am going to the Olympics, I am so happy," said Diamond.
"This has got to be the best day of my life and I feel over the moon with the news. I am going to be part of the British team going to the Olympics and to be involved in that is absolutely fantastic."
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The news received a rapturous reception at Bristol Grammar School, where Diamond first took up athletics as a youngster with victory in the junior girls' race at the Bristol Schools' Cross Country Championships.
"My mum (Nicola) is head of Diamond House and a biology teacher there and she announced it to the staff as they gathered for the final day of school and there was a huge cheer," added a proud Diamond.
Diamond's selection is one of the remarkable success stories of the 71-strong squad that was unveiled yesterday lunchtime. She has only raced over 400m six times outdoors, having dipped her toe into the event with a leg of the relay at the World Student Championships last year.
Diamond was primarily picked to run the 200m in China, finishing eighth in the final, having forged a successful junior career at the event with sixth place in the 2010 World Junior Championships and eighth in the European Juniors the year before.
Indeed, it was only three years ago, while representing Avon, that Diamond won the English Schools' senior girls' 200m title.
Her talent was recognised even earlier in The Post , when she won the Easy Runner athlete of the month competition in May 2007. But now it seems her future lies in the one-lap event.
"If someone had told me 12 months ago that I would in the team for the Olympic Games, I wouldn't have believed them," said Diamond.
"I had a lot of injuries last year, but fortunately I ended the season on a high at the World Students and it has gone really well since then.
"But I have still only run the 400m six times outdoors, so I have barely touched the surface of the event yet. To make the team on the back of that is so exciting."
Diamond is a student at Loughborough University, where she is coached by former international 400m runner Jared Deacon, but she is keen to pay tribute to all the people who have helped her become an Olympian.
"Paul Weston got me into the sport at Bristol & West AC, then I worked with Dan Cossins over in Bath before coming to Loughborough," said Diamond.
"I have so many people who have helped me and, of course, my mum is my number one fan!"
Diamond clinched her place in the team by finishing fourth in the 400m at the Olympic trials and then clocking 52.73secs in Switzerland on Saturday, having been challenged by UK Athletics head coach Charles Van Commenee to go and run another fast time.
Also named in the relay squad are former world individual medallist Nicola Sanders and Marilyn Okoro, in addition to the selected 400m trio of Christine Ohuruogu, Shana Cox and Lee McConnell.
Diamond joins club-mate Claire Hallissey (marathon) in the team, while Bristol & West AC life member Jo Pavey has been selected to run the 5000m and 10000m.