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I'll love every minute of my Olympic experience – Emily

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: July 10, 2012

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Bristol's Emily Diamond has admitted she is still on cloud nine following her shock call-up to the Team GB squad for London 2012.

The 21-year-old will be part of the 4x400m relay squad in London alongside Nicola Sanders, Marilyn Okoro, Christine Ohuruogu, Shana Cox and Lee McConnell.

The Bristol & West AC runner said: "I think I'm going to have to keep pinching myself over the next month.

"It's so much more exciting because I didn't expect the call-up. I'm going into the unknown and I'm just going to love every minute."

Diamond forced her way into contention by finishing fourth at the Aviva UK Olympic Trials in Birmingham last month, where she ran 53.36seconds to finish fourth in the final, before following that up with a 52.73sec time in Switzerland the following week.

Diamond – a 200m specialist who has only raced over 400m half a dozen times outdoors – said: "I had sort of hoped after finishing fourth at the trials that I could possibly be in the team but you just never know.

"My reaction was one of shock. I'm still quite lost for words. I never really believed it until it actually happened.

"I was pretty much dancing round the room on my own. I had an excitable conversation with my mum but I did not know what to do with myself before heading off to training a couple of hours later."

The former Bristol Grammar School student says she will be treating London 2012 as an important step in her development towards the next Games in Rio de Janeiro in four years time.

"It will be a massive learning experience to be part of the Games," said the Loughborough University student, who claimed gold over 200m at the British Universities Championships at the Olympic Stadium earlier this summer.

"I have never done anything like this before on a senior level. To get a run in the heats would be amazing and a great learning curve.

"I feel like I'm in good shape if I do get a run. Some of the other girls may still be in their individual events and if, say, their finals are close they may want to have a rest. We'll play it by ear, really. Being there will help for Rio in 2016, when I hope to be in the individual event, because I will know what to expect from an Olympic experience, and that will hopefully lead to a better performance."

Diamond admitted she has struggled to find the words to sum up the excitement of fulfilling a dream she has had since London was announced as the Olympic host city.

She said: "It is amazing; I can't put it into words. To be going and running in front of a home crowd of 80,000 people is going to be incredible."

This article brought to you by SPAR – official sponsors of UK Athletics.

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