Dina Asher-Smith left baffled after disappointing display in world 100m final

Asher-Smith insisted injury was not to blame for her poor performance.

Nick Mashiter
Monday 21 August 2023 22:09 BST
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith finished eighth in the 100m final (Martin Rickett/PA)
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith finished eighth in the 100m final (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Dina Asher-Smith admits she was left baffled after her 100m failure at the World Championships.

The USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson stormed to the title in Budapest in a championship record of 10.65 seconds on Monday to leave Asher-Smith trailing in eighth.

The title – her first major crown – was redemption for the 23-year-old after she missed the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana during the US trials in 2021.

Jamaica pair Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the defending champion, completed the podium.

It was more disappointment for Asher-Smith after she finished fourth at last year’s championships in Eugene despite equalling her personal best of 10.83 seconds.

“I’m almost in disbelief. I know myself and I know that I feel good. I came here for a new personal best,” said the 27-year-old after running just 11 seconds.

“I know I’m in great shape. I ran 10.8 a few weeks ago. It doesn’t really happen to me. That’s why I’m so surprised.

“I was just running and towards the end of the semi I just couldn’t feel my legs anymore which was a bit strange.

“I don’t want to make a huge deal because at the end of the day I crossed the line, felt fine, got on with it, made the final, and felt absolutely fine during the final.

“I felt great but a mad day, mad day.”

Asher-Smith, who is ranked sixth in the world, a place above team-mate Daryll Neita, struggled in a favourable semi-final and ran just 11.02s to come third.

She needed to rely on a fastest-loser spot, along with Richardson after the American finished third in her heat, to make the final.

There was earlier disappointment for Neita as she failed to make it past her semi-final after running 11.03s.

“It’s sad. It was crazy to be honest with you. I don’t see what I did majorly wrong, I just feel like I wasn’t fast, I didn’t run fast enough,” she said.

“It’s a big surprise because I should be there. I came here to be in that final. The fact that I am not is super disappointing and it honestly feels like a repeat of last year in Eugene.

“That was at least a faster run. The thing keeping me on my feet right now is the fact I have the 200m to come back. It is keeping me going. It fuels a lot.”

A tearful Holly Bradshaw failed to reach the pole vault final after only clearing 4.35m following illness at Great Britain’s holding camp last week, although Molly Caudery qualified after passing 4.65m.

The 31-year-old, who crashed out of the event at last year’s worlds when her pole snapped in the warm up, failed at 4.50m before two unsuccessful attempts at 4.60m.

She said: “My mental health is really suffering from doing this sport right now. I am not near my family, I’ve still got four competitions but I wanted to try and get the Olympics qualification.

“I don’t really know how I feel right now. At the moment, I don’t want to compete or think about the pole vault or do anything.

“I’m really gutted and heartbroken. I felt really good coming into this. I had some good sessions out in Slovakia but I picked up some stomach bug on Thursday and was basically being sick the whole night.

“That’s quite unusual for me. I have not really been able to eat much since. I have not trained because I have been trying to conserve my energy and I felt awful.”

Jessie Knight won her 400m hurdles heat in 54.27 seconds to reach Tuesday’s final at the National Athletics Centre.

She said: “It is probably the best mentally and physically that I have ever been coming into any Championships.

“I am starting to feel quite at home in this environment now. I had previously felt like a bit of a newbie in the major championships but I am settling in nicely now.”

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