Fátima Diame: “The Glasgow medal has given me confidence”

“After Tokyo I said I was leaving it and Ana Peleteiro threw up her hands”


The Spanish athlete Fátima Diame has confessed that after the Tokyo Olympic Games she thought about retiring because athletics “didn’t” give her the same, and has assured that the bronze medal in long jump won at the World Track Championships This year’s Glasgow cover has given him “security” for upcoming competitions, including the Paris 2024 Games.

“I am guided by Iván -Pedroso, his coach-, he is the one who sets us up. Alberto, my ‘repre’, is the one who is in charge of all the competitions. They organize everything external and I train. But with a lot of confidence, which is what I was missing. Enjoying the process a lot. The medal has given me confidence. It totally changes your perspective,” he said in an interview with Glamor magazine.

On the other hand, he confessed that after the last Olympic event he thought about leaving athletics. “After the Tokyo Olympics I said ‘I’m quitting’. I remember I was with Ana -Peleteiro- and she started putting her hands on her head ‘but what are you saying?’. Athletics was no longer giving me what it was giving me before. Why am I going to do something I don’t enjoy? Actually this sport was my life at that time, but something was breaking, falling apart, and I didn’t see the point in fighting so much. “I was not happy,” he stressed.

“It was when we spoke with Iván. He had already seen me in other competitions, he was not my coach, but he is responsible for jumping, so it was his turn to see me. He was always with the joke ‘you have to come train with me’. I always I answered no, ‘I’m going to retire with Rafa, who is my father, in Valencia, at home.’ But you’re left thinking, ‘damn, give yourself a chance, even if it’s the last try.’ with Rafa and I told him I wanted to leave,” he continued.

In this sense, he talked about how he communicated it to his previous coach. “Although Rafa at first didn’t understand it, then he did. Iván demanded that I talk to him, but well, explain to him why I was leaving with all the details. He has always had a lot of respect for him. And I came here. Rafa has been a father to me and continues to be. It has educated me and led me to achieve great successes. After the injury, I had psychological help,” he said.

The Valencian also explained her way of overcoming an injury physically and mentally. “Athletics has given me joy, but also disappointment and sadness. Life is like that. I was very good, I had a lot of talent, but I got injured a lot because of the shape of my body. I started doing weights and I got brutal low back pain. I had 16 years old. And at that age when you can’t get out of bed anymore it’s hard,” he recalled.

“Then, Rafa said ‘well, let’s stop the weights’. I remember that he gave me a broomstick and put it on my shoulders and with that I did squats. Thus, little by little we adapted my body to the training. I got to a point where I was doing very well, I was competing well, training well and, suddenly, you get injured and you get desperate, you wonder what you’re doing wrong to get injured,” he said.

Finally, Diame recounted how she denounced the sexualization suffered by some athletes through social networks. “It started happening to me when I was 16. That’s when they started with the videos and the comments. There comes a time when you get rid of that, but with help. Social media is good or it can totally destroy you. You don’t know. What the person behind the screen is doing. You can’t control it. But you can manage it. You have to be pragmatic. Thanks to that public complaint, 60,000 videos were deleted,” he concluded.