Dina Asher-Smith’s superb summer continued in style in Brussels as she seared home in a season’s best 100m to claim her first ever Diamond League Trophy.
The Londoner has switched between 100m and 200m throughout this season, winning races over both distances and last week claiming a season’s best over the longer distance in Zurich. But in the Diamond League Final in Belgium, a country she’d not previously raced in, the 23-year-old reignited her rivalry with the likes of Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – blowing away the competition in perfect timing ahead of the World Championships. Asher-Smith raced home in 10.88s (-0.3), beating her previous season’s best of 10.91 and just three hundredths of a second outside her personal best. World lead Fraser-Pryce finished second on 10.95 with Ivorian Ta Lou third on 11.09 and the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers fourth. The triple European champion will attempt the sprint double at the World Championships in Doha later this month (September 27), handing herself the perfect confidence boost. "I came in to the race wanting to win and my coach gave me some very specific things to think about," said Asher-Smith, who got out of the blocks quickest on reaction time. "I was doing that in the race and I managed to pull it off and when I crossed the line I thought 'yes, fabulous, won the race, tick, happy me', but then I remembered it was the Diamond League so technically I've won the whole Diamond League, so what a great day!" There were more Brits in action elsewhere in Brussels, World Championships heptathlon medal hope Katarina Johnson-Thompson jumping 6.73m to claim third in the long jump. In a field of specialists Johnson-Thompson showed excellent consistency, with just one foul and follow-up efforts of 6.64m, 6.62m, 6.70m and 6.65m. “I have mixed feelings about my competition,” said the Brit. “I am sure that I can do better than 6.73m, but it was ok for now. I came here as one of the weakest jumpers and I finish in third position so I can´t complain. “This is definitely good for my confidence. I feel like I am ready for the heptathlon. Everything is falling into place.” Germany’s Malaika Mihambo took the title while Lorraine Ugen jumped a season’s best 6.70 to take fifth. Matt Hudson-Smith finished second behind Trinidad’s Machel Cedenio in a non-Diamond League 400m, while 110m hurdler Andy Pozzi clocked 13.50 to take sixth, Holly Bradshaw jumped to fifth in the pole vault and Lynsey Sharp sixth in the 800m. Sportsbeat 2019