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UK Athletics

blog spot: uka futures programme - jared deacon

Emily Diamond
Emily Diamond - coached by Jared Deacon - finished her season on a high in China

10 October 2011

UKA Futures Programme Coach Jared Deacon is coach to European Under-23 Championships semi finalist Emily Diamond, a regular on the international scene since the 2009 European Junior Championships and most recently a member of the Great Britain team at the World Student Games in China.

Watch out for more blogs from UKA Futures Programme coaches on www.uka.org.uk 

Blog Spot: UKA Futures Programme - Jared Deacon

User AvatarPosted by Site Administrator at 10/10/2011 10:37:25 AM

At the end of my previous blog (15 August) I mentioned that there was possibility of an international baptism of fire in the 4x400m relay for UKA Futures funded Emily Diamond out at the World student Games in China. Well, that was the case but it’s only part of the story...

After such a late call up and an injury disrupted season, the World Students was a bonus event and something we couldn’t really prepare for properly, but such is life when taking opportunities. You’ve sometime just got to go with it! 

The story begins with an extra round of the 200m being added to the programme due to the number of competitors. This meant four rounds in total over two days. Emily progressed well and made the final running a very creditable 23.58sec from lane one in the final. This was an eighth place finish with the same time as seventh place with a good battle between Emily and Ireland’s Amy Foster. Both Emily and I felt this was a good performance and could take a lot from how she ran it and performed herself.

Next day were the heats of the 4x100m which GB qualified for automatically after from finishing third in their heat with Emily on leg 3 and the rest of the team made up of Ashleigh Nelson, Amy Harris and Margaret Adeoye. The team went on to finished fourth in 44.01sec which is only a few hundredths off what the senior Aviva GB & NI team ran in the World Championships in Daegu a couple of weeks later.  

It was after the 4x100m when the final chapter began and Emily was informed she was definitely in the 4x400m - and that she was running last leg. At that point she only had 10 minutes or so before going through to the call room for the final.

This is when it can go either way and the athlete can step up and take it on or crack under the terror of the situation. Fortunately Emily has a good competitive mindset and attitude. While all this was going on I was kept up to date by text from Richard Wheater who was on the team staff out in China so I knew what was coming for Emily. It was tricky as I was on a six hour drive back to Loughborough from Edinburgh and was going in and out of signal on the mobile phone. I got to speak with Emily briefly and gave her some advice and instruction which was basically along the lines of ‘stay relaxed, but leg it and keep going!’ No point in being overly tactical, technical or otherwise in that situation, she just had to go for it.

After great efforts from all the team, Britain got a bronze. Emily ran brilliantly; a 51.93sec split for her second ever competitive 4x400m and fifth fastest split of the championships and all after seven races in four days!

So, where to from here? Emily now has more confidence that the 400m is a real prospect for her. It has always been the longer term plan but this has given her a taste of what it might be like and also the belief that she could do well over 400m. It has also started that vital component of needing to love the event you are going to do. The 400m is a real ‘love, hate’ relationship for all those involved in it, because it’s tough, but rewarding.

With the help of the UKA physio team through the Futures programme we are hoping to put things in place to make future seasons more successful and less injury interrupted. We now go into this winter with many things to work on and many things to be excited about for 2012...and beyond.

The UKA Futures Programme underpins the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) and was borne out of the restructure of UKA’s WCPP and the drive towards more targeted support for athletes and their coaches.

The Programme targets young athletes with the potential to deliver global medals for Britain in the future.

Athletes and their coaches will be supported in their individual development plans allowing for more flexibility and individual discretion around distribution of resources. 28 coach-athlete pairs have been included in the 2010/11 Futures Programme.