Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam is at the track. The go-karting track.
1. My mum is also a heptathlon champion
“Just like me, my mum, Daniele Denisty, competes in multi-events. She is the reigning European masters champion for indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon.
“She competed in athletics up until the age of 15, but after her local club closed down it became too far for her to bike to the next nearest club, so she quit and took up other sports. Later, when she began to take me to athletics from the age of seven, she became frustrated waiting around on the sidelines for me and she re-started the sport 14 years ago.
“Obviously, when I first started she was way better than me. I used to look at her [high jump] PB of 1.61m and think it was amazing. Over time I bettered all her PBs, with the last being the discus throw – a non-heptathlon event – when I was aged about 16.
“Sometimes today we still train in the same group and I am really proud of the success she has enjoyed.”
2. I have a need for speed
“Fairly recently I discovered go-karting. I have been several times and I like the thrill and buzz of travelling fast – even though in reality you are not travelling as fast as you think you are, simply because you are so low to the ground.
“I recently was in an Audi R8 and it was cool to travel at speed. I really like to go fast.”
3. I wish I was a baller
“If I wasn’t doing athletics, I’d definitely be playing basketball because I love the sport.
“I love team sports and I really enjoyed the all-action style of the sport, the contact, everything about it. I played a lot of basketball when I was younger and I used to like playing in a boy team in which I was the only girl. It was fun.
“Later, when I was older and boys and girls were no longer allowed to play together, I was in an all-girl team, but it was not the same. I didn’t have the same level of enjoyment.
“When I was younger it was a dream of mine to be a professional basketballer. I still follow the game today on TV.”