Questions for Merlin Diamond

When pupils from class 5L at Garden International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia took part in a BBC World Class assembly, they were inspired to go a step further.

After watching Dreams Come True, a short film about Namibian sprinter Merlin Diamond, they came up with some questions they would like to ask the athlete herself.

BBC World Olympic Dreams were able to put the questions to Merlin - and you can find out what she had to say below.

Garden International pupils braved the scorching sun to spell out this message to Merlin on their school field! Garden International pupils braved the scorching sun to spell out this message to Merlin on their school field!

MD: Well hello there Malaysia it is so great to hear from you. I totally love the picture you made for me (above), I'm using it as my screen saver!

How do you feel about your nickname, the 'Cheetah of Namibia'?

MD: It's a great name, I truly love it. It gives me the go.

What or who inspired you to not give up and to try your best, no matter what?

MD: My mom (Aloisia), my aunt and uncle Hermann and Jeanne, my friends and family just never gave up on me. They gave me the push and told me that I'm blessed and that I needed to use my talent.

Plus my schools motto ("altyd my beste") meaning "always my best" kept me going, 'cause I knew I haven't given my best yet.

Did your injury affect your 'never give up' spirit?

MD: Yep! My injury did have a very big effect on my sports. When my injury got worse I put my spikes away and said 'I'm done', but with my great support system around me just could not let go and cause of them I'm back on track again.

Have you ever wanted to do anything else with your life?

MD: Yes as a young girl I wanted to be a businesswoman.

What is the weirdest thing in your life?

MD: Hmmm weird, I think being a young woman and not into going out and having friends is weird. I live in my own little world which is only going one direction.

If you had to do a sport in the Olympics that wasn't running based what would it be and why?

MD: I would love to try shot put so I can challenge the strong guys.

If you could develop your old school, what would you do first?

MD: I would really like schools to be fun again, so I would try doing stuff that young people would enjoy and not stay out of school.

These days people are really serious in schools and kids don't enjoy it as they used to.

What would you like the world to be like in the future and why?

MD: Fun! I want the world to be fun, enjoyable - so full of life and not just serious.

What was the most special moment of being a flag bearer on Commonwealth Day this year?

MD: Just being able to carry the flag for my country and being able to see the Queen.

What do you hope to accomplish before you retire?

MD: The one thing that I have to accomplish before I retire is a Olympic medal. It does not matter how long it takes, but I will get one.

Greetings again to Garden International School and Love to Class 5L. Bye!

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