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Q&A with Laviai Nielsen

The British 400metre runner on rediscovering her love of athletics after disappointment at the world championships

How are you passing the time during track and field’s coronavirus suspension?

I find myself doing videos quite regularly and (twin sister) Lina is doing daily yoga classes on Instagram Live. We’re also doing adapted running sessions on grass.

I heard parkrun helped you with the disappointment of not making the final at last year’s world championships?

That was a short-lived thing but quite nice, though. I needed to fall in love with running in a different kind of way. The longest thing I do in training is 600m, so it was a shock to be doing a 5k! I gave it up after the second run but I might do it again in the future.

What are your feelings about Doha and the 4x400m relay bronze when Jamaica were disqualified, handing third to Britain, but were reinstated?

There were positives to take — it was my first world championships as an individual and I hope I have many more. The relay was the worst experience of all. A horrible end to a horrible championships for me.

Did you think the bronze medal was in the bag?

My team-mate Emily (Diamond) told me Jamaica had broken the rules so the team appealed, there was a lot of back and forth and I thought we had won bronze four or five times. When I looked at my phone after, I’d been bombarded with congratulations.

Are you dreaming of racing while enduring lockdown?

I might do a Southern League meet with my club, Haringey, probably a 200 or 800m. But the way to look at this now for us is as an off-year.

Any other disciplines you’d try one day?

I’d love to give an 800m a go, or the high jump. Heptathlon, long jump… When I was younger, I tried rowing for a while but the hand-eye co-ordination was not quite there! I’d like to try triathlon when I retire from athletics.