European Athletics Championships 2014: Dina Asher-Smith makes the grade on and off track

Gaining a place at King’s College University is followed by record-breaking 200m performance

letzigrund stadion

On this evidence, Dina Asher-Smith will surely have even better days but this one, she said, was the greatest of her life so far.

It began with the 18-year-old finding out she had done sufficiently well in her A-levels to earn a place to read history at King’s College University, and ended with her breaking the British 200m junior record en route to a place in Friday’s final, with a time of 22.61sec.

A medal is now a distinct possibility for the 100m World Junior champion, who clocked the third fastest time despite easing over the line as she took 0.14 seconds off her personal best.

As her friends from Newstead Wood School in Orpington, Kent, celebrated their results by going out on the town, Asher-Smith merely asked them “to tune into TV” for Friday’s final.

Asher-Smith’s night was spent with room-mate Morgan Lake watching Britain’s only medal of the night, another silver for Will Sharman to match his one at the Commonwealths. As in Glasgow, it could have been gold had he not clattered the seventh and eighth hurdles. “I could have done more, that’s why I was gutted,” he said.

For him, it was a case of what might have been, but not so Asher-Smith, who after winning her heat described it as “the best morning of my life”.

Following her blistering semi-final run, it became her greatest day. “Definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, a junior record, I got into King’s, I made the final, I just really couldn’t have asked for much more out of this day,” she said.

She required three ‘A’s to guarantee a place at King’s. She found out via her mother Julie that her grades were sufficient to secure her university spot. “It was a little bit nerve-wracking. I was probably more nervous for my exam results, absolutely petrified of not getting into uni,” said Asher-Smith, whose phone signal failed as she tried to log on to the UCAS website to find out her educational outcome and had to turn to her mum instead. “She texted me and I was like ‘yippee’. It was about 20 minutes before I went to warm up so it was pretty close. It’s quite a boost and I’m so happy.”

Britain’s best bet for a medal in the final is Jodie Williams, the Commonwealth silver medallist, while Bianca Williams will also line up in the final. In the men’s semi-finals, Adam Gemili is now favourite to add to his Commonwealth 100m silver with gold in the 200m at the Europeans.

Two of the stars of Glasgow, the 400m hurdler Eilidh Child and 800m specialist Lynsey Sharp, were also back on track and both are in a strong position to add to Britain’s gold-medal tally when they compete in their respective finals on Saturday.

Sharp had been embroiled in a Twitter spat with Andy Vernon, a silver medallist behind Mo Farah in the 10,000m, prior to these championships, Vernon accusing her of flaunting her Commonwealth silver too much when the Scot tweeted plans to buy a Chanel handbag to celebrate.After Vernon’s silver, a photoshopped tweet showed him running with a Chanel bag, and Sharp said: “We’ve had a bit of a laugh about it.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most