Hammer throwers can be quite intimidating, but in reality Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon is more scared of you than you are of her.

1. I’m shy in social situations

“I may be an athlete who is used to performing in front of big crowds, but when it comes to social situations, I am really shy. I am a real introvert and like to spend time by myself.

“When people meet me for the first time, I might come across as standoffish and people can take it the wrong way. It is not that I am not interested in that person, it is just I sometimes struggle to know what to say.”

3. Some of my training sessions are a bit weird

“Tore Gustafsson [my coach] comes up with some crazy training exercises. I recall one exercise with a rubber band tied to a pole, which also involved a plate and a hammer handle. It looked like a torture device. He is always coming up with these innovative exercises, which relate to the hammer.

“Another exercise involved a rope tied to my weightlifting belt. I did a series of hammer turns and wrapped myself up the rope. I looked like a yoyo! It is not an exercise we have repeated, but I like the fact Tore is always thinking outside the box to improve me as a thrower.”

3. I love arts and crafts

“Since my grandparents used to take me to art and craft classes in the summer holidays as a child, I have had an interest in being creative and making things.

“I am not too keen on sharing with others what I make, but I found it is a good way to relax. I’ve worked on many things over the years from painting vases to pottery. Obviously, now I am no longer a child, I have far less time today to devote to such projects.

“However, where I can find the time I like to create. I went to Disneyland last year and discovered these small figures called Vinylmations. I have created a little plastic model of Jack Skellington from the movie ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and I am currently working on a Mickey Mouse model. Doing craft does take my mind off things and I enjoy the creative process.”