Nielsen reflects on 'surreal' World Championship success
Medalling in her first year as a senior athlete has given Laviai Nielsen a new perspective on the sport as she eyes another successful season in 2018.
The 21-year-old was part of the Great Britain's 4x400m team that stormed their way to silver at the 2017 World Championships in London.
And the Leytonstone athlete admits it has been a whirlwind year from just missing out on an individual medal at the European Indoor Championships – where she did take 4x400m relay silver – to placing second in the capital.
"Winning silver in London was such a special moment. I look back at it like it was a dream. I cannot place myself there," said Nielsen, speaking at SportsAid's annual SportsBall.
"It's so surreal. That's how I can describe it. It has changed my outlook on the sport because it's something I didn't think I'd experience so soon in my career. It's made me believe in myself a lot more. And it has changed my training too, going into the winter months.
"Just before the worlds I was going through a difficult time with my individual 400m but I changed a lot of things.
"I changed coaches and teams and there are really exciting times ahead and I can't wait to keep going.
"Being at that world champs for the first time was a bit of a slap in the face because it wakes you up to where you're performing. I knew I'd have to step it up and that has given me the flavour of the big tournaments."
Another packed schedule lies in wait for Nielsen with the World Indoor Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships all taking place next year.
Nielsen has her eyes firmly set on the Europeans in Glasgow next August and hopes to use the competition as a platform.
She said: "2018 is quite a busy year. We have the Commonwealths, the Indoors and European Championships so it's exciting.
"But I've decided to focus all my time on the European Championships because I think it's going to be massive step for me moving into the worlds in 2019 and Tokyo in 2020."