British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith has the speed to mix it with the fastest women in the world, says national performance director Neil Black.
Towards the end of last month, the 19-year-old broke Montell Douglas’s seven-year-old 100m British record with a time of 11.02sec in the FBK Games in Hengelo, the Netherlands, behind race winner Dafne Schippers.
Asher-Smith was among those selected in the British team for the European Team Championships in Cheboksary later this month. Of the teenage sprinter, Black said: “She’s beginning to show people what she’s capable of. Everybody for years has been saying she’s really good and now she’s broken the British record and there’s more to come.
“John Blackie, her coach, and Dina know there are technical things that she can do to run faster. I’m sure she can run faster. Whether the 100m or the 200m is her best event, we’ll find out in the future.”
As for how fast she can be and whether she can take on the likes of the Jamaicans and Americans in the sprints, Black added: “It’s a difficult question to answer as you put people under pressure, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to look towards medals in the future. When that might come who knows, but that will certainly be her aim.”
Britain will send a 47-strong team to the championships from 20-21 June, with the majority of the bigger names in the sport, among them Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson, opting against competing in order to focus on their build-up to the World Championships in Beijing in August.
World and European champion Richard Kilty will lead the men’s sprint hopes in the 100m in Russia. Kilty was critical of some of his fellow sprinters for staying away from the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas last month, where Britain missed out on an opportunity to automatically qualify for the 4x100m relays at the 2016 Olympics.
Chijindu Ujah, one of those who missed the event, is back in the 4x100m team for Cheboksary and Black is adamant they are taking the discipline seriously. “CJ’s always wanted to be part of the relay,” he said, before repeating his view on the absence of Adam Gemili and James Dasaolu. “[They] are following individual plans but they want to be part of the relays and there will be plenty of opportunities [to qualify for Rio].”
Team GB for European Championships
In Cheboksary, Russia, 20-21 June
Men 100m R Kilty, 200m D Talbot, 400m J Dunn, 800m G Learmonth, 1,500m R Murray, 3,000m A Butchart, 5,000m A Vernon, 3,000m steeplechase Z Seddon, 110m hurdles L Clarke, 400m hurdles J Green, High jump R Grabarz, Pole vault J Thoirs, Long jump D Bramble, Triple jump N Douglas, Shot Z Duquemin, Javelin B Buwembo, Discus B Morse, Hammer N Miller.
Women 100m A Philip, 200m D Asher-Smith, 400m tbc, 800m A Leonard, 1,500m R Price, 3,000m K Avery, 5,000m L Partridge, 3,000m steeplechase L Waite, 100m hurdles S Solomon, 400m hurdles E Child, High jump I Pooley, Pole vault S Peake, Long jump J Sawyers, Triple jump L Samuel, Shot R Wallader, Javelin L Whittingham, Discus K Law, Hammer S Hitchon.Reuse content