Emily Diamond puts injury worries behind her as the new season dawns
BRISTOL'S Emily Diamond insists she is finally benefitting from an extended period without injury – and is determined to show just how much at the scene of a setback 12 months ago.
This time last year the 20-year-old Bristol & West AC sprinter was busy recovering from a grade two hamstring tear, suffered at the Birmingham Games on only her third indoor outing of 2011.
Fast forward to the present and Diamond has already raced seven times indoors over 400m and is set to make her outdoor debut at next month's BUCS Championships over 200m.
It was at the BUCS Championships last year where Diamond endured further injury – this time a fascial strain in her hamstring, while a knee problem went on to affect her season.
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However, with injury nowhere to be seen, and a spell of warm-weather training in Portugal under her belt, Diamond is adamant she can succeed on her first outdoor event of 2012.
"I have not long been back from warm-weather training and everything went well out there and touch wood I am healthy and I will stay healthy," said Diamond, pictured.
"I am still awhile away from my first outdoor race of the year, but it is the first year in a while where I have been injury free so, hopefully, that will reflect in my performance.
"Loughborough haven't finalised the team for the BUCS Championships yet, but I should be doing the 200m and I will be aiming to win it – that will be the plan. After that I think I will do some EAP meets in Europe – in Belgium and the Netherlands – and at the Loughborough International I will do the 4x400m relay.
"Looking at my race programme, it is about half 200m and half 400m. I will try and get enough 200m races in to get certain times and enough 400m races for the same reason.
"After that I will play it by ear and see what my chances are."
Diamond's outdoor season opener won't be a low-key affair with the BUCS Championships set to be held in the Olympic Stadium and act as the official London 2012 test event.
With it come changes to last year's Championships, which saw Diamond pull up in the 100m final with injury, though as only one entrant is allowed per event per university.
And, while Diamond isn't exactly sold on the amendments, she admits competing in the Olympic Stadium will be invaluable ahead of a potential return for London 2012 this summer.
"It will be good to know the ins and outs of the Olympic Stadium and it will be nice, if I am lucky enough to get back there in the summer, to have run around the track already," she added.
"I don't know whether because it is a test event that they have changed things slightly, but for a university like Loughborough it will have an effect because we have so many athletes."
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