Asher-Smith sparkles for Worlds silver
29 September 2019 / 21:16
Dina Asher-Smith shattered her own British record and stamped her authority on the global stage with 100m silver at the World Athletics Championships.
The 23-year-old posted 10.83, a lifetime best, to clinch a maiden global medal and Britain’s first world gong in the female sprints in 36 years.
Asher-Smith reacted second quickest and drove well to dip 0.07 secs ahead of Marie-Josee Ta Lou. She was some 0.12 behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
“A personal best and national record is more than you could ever ask for in a world final,” said Asher-Smith, surpassing the 10.85 mark she set at the 2018 European Championships.
“I'm a Championship performer, I'm a competitor. I would have loved to have won.
"Anyone in that race would have loved to have won, but Shelly put in an absolutely fantastic performance. That’s why she has so many titles.
“I’ve worked so hard for this. It’s been a big effort to get myself into a mental state where I get silver in an event I’ve never competed in at this level.”
The triple European champion gave Fraser-Pryce in the next lane over a wide berth, a contrast to the tactics that saw her stay tight and clinch the Diamond Trophy in Brussels.
The Jamaican, who now holds eight world golds, established a visible lead in the early stages and continued to gain ground in the drive phase.
Asher-Smith is the only British woman to have ever run sub-11 seconds – and she has now done it nine times this season. The only time she failed was into a -2 wind in Birmingham.
Further history is by no means beyond Asher-Smith – she goes into the 200m with a stone-cold gold chance.
Fraser-Pryce pulled out of the event on Sunday, reigning world champion Dafne Schippers withdrew from the 100m final late and reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is off colour.
“It's a long season and it’s easy to get carried away,” said Asher-Smith, whose 200m campaign begins with heats at 17:32 tomorrow.
“When you run well and win the Diamond League, it's easy to get caught up in the hype and forget what you're going for, which is these Championship moments.
“For me and John (Blackie, coach), it's always been about staying focused, tailoring training for the Worlds and keeping my eyes on the prize.
“We’ve all got to dare to dream. That’s why anyone enters any event, because they believe they can be world champion.”
There was a fourth place finish for Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault, who cleared 4.80m outdoors for the fourth time in her career to finish just off the rostrum.