Madara Palameika named her dog after a brother who doesn’t even exist. No wonder she’s the Latvian record holder in the javelin.

1. I love to sing – but wish I was better

“My two sisters and I all attended music school as kids. That was the rule in our household.

“I tried to learn a few instruments including the flute, although I was told I was not a natural at it because as I blew into it the air went everywhere. I did try the piano and drums but I mainly sang.

“I have an ear for a good or a bad tone, but unfortunately, I don’t have such a good voice myself. I wish I could sing better. I’d like to think I had a little Beyonce in me, but it is not true.

“When I am on my own I love to belt out love songs: Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Whitney Houston are my favourites.”

2. I’m an animal lover

“As you can see from Instagram, I love animals and I’m frequently pictured with them.

“I have a dog called Janis, a West Highland Terrier. I call him Janis because when I was younger I always wanted a brother with this name.

“I can’t resist a dog. They are so cute and every time I see them they melt my heart. He currently sleeps in the same bed as me and I train him like a human. In fact, he is human-like.

“If he could pick an athletics event, I would say he would be best suited to the indoor 60m. He is very quick over a short distance.”

3. I was a top volleyball player

“I love both beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. I was always very good at the basics of the game and I think it helped my javelin technique.

“I used to play the game at school and also before track and field practice. My father always complemented me on my volleyball technique and that movement certainly helped strengthen my arm and helped my flexibility.

“Even today as a training drill I sometimes hit the volleyball against a wall to rediscover that feeling. I love it!”