Asher-Smith leads silver rush for Great Britain

Dina Asher-Smith underlined her world-class pedigree with a fine second place in the women's 200m, in a race packed with quality at the Birmingham Grand Prix.

With Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Dafne Schippers and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce bringing five Olympic golds to the party, the 200m was the blue riband event of the Diamond League meet and it did not disappoint.

Asher-Smith made a fiery start from lane five and led at the half-way point, just ahead of Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and Fraser-Pryce.

But down the main straight it was Miller-Uibo, a 400m specialist, who powered through to win in 22.24s, just 0.09s down on her meeting record from a year ago.

Asher-Smith came second, on a day full of silver for Great Britain, and Fraser-Pryce third to cap off a thrilling afternoon.

“I was really happy with how I ran,” Asher-Smith said.

“The competitor in me always wants to win but at the same time when you take a step back, that could have been an Olympic final – and I would have won silver!

“I like to mix up my events, I have the 100m next week and then 200m the week after. I hope to do both again before I get to the World Champs.

“I like to do both distances so that when it comes to the big Championships I am well practised at both distances.

“It was good to do this at home. I joke why they give me such a hard race but to race with so many phenomenal athletes on home turf is great.”

While four or five athletes captured the attention on the track, in the sand pit it was all about two – as heptathletes Nafi Thiam and Katarina Johnson-Thompson went head to head in the long jump.

Thiam, the Olympic and World heptathlon champion, made an intimidating start by landing a monstrous 6.86m, a new Belgian national record.

Johnson-Thompson struggled on the board, fouling three of her first four attempts, but she roared back to land a big jump of her own – just one centimetre off Thiam.

She finished level with Ivana Spanovic but the Czech athlete’s second-best effort was further than Johnson-Thompson’s, consigning the two-time Olympian to third. Johnson-Thompson and Abigail Irozuru both secured the World Championship qualifying standard, but Irozuru must wait an extra week to see if she will make the Great Britain team.

Elsewhere, Adam Gemili finished second in the men’s 100m, nudged out at the line by Jamaica’s Yohan Blake.

Lynsey Sharp also bagged a silver medal in the women’s 800m, crossing just 0.35s back from USA’s Ajee Wilson, while Matt Hudson-Smith was third in the men’s 400m.

Sportsbeat 2019