World Athletics Championships 2019: Dina Asher-Smith sets sights on Olympic glory after 200m gold

The Brit broke her own national record time as she made history and won her second medal of the week

Nick Mashiter
Thursday 03 October 2019 08:33
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Diane Abbott pays tribute to Dina Asher-Smith as the first black MP to represent their party in the Commons

Dina Asher-Smith set her sights on Olympic glory after her historic gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.

The 23-year-old won the 200m final in Doha on Wednesday with a new British record time of 21.88 seconds, breaking the one she set in Berlin last year.

With her victory, Asher-Smith became just the seventh British woman to win a world individual title, joining Fatima Whitbread, Liz McColgan, Sally Gunnell, Paula Radcliffe, Christine Ohuruogu and Jessica Ennis-Hill.

But Asher-Smith, who also won the 100m silver medal on Sunday, was not dwelling on the present.

“The Olympics is less than a year away, we have already been thinking about it,” she said. “I don’t think there’s any time we’re not thinking about the Olympics.

“Doing well in Doha was part of the plan and in thinking about Doha, you’re thinking about the Olympics as well.

“It means so much. There are so many British fans here and I know lots of Brits live in Doha, but lots have travelled and for my mum to be here, my dad, John [Blackie, coach] and his wife, and my physios… it means so much.

“It’s a different thing with everyone saying you’re the favourite, but it’s a different thing going and doing it.”

Meanwhile, Katarina Johnson-Thompson holds a 96-point overnight lead in the heptathlon.

Dina Asher-Smith celebrates on the Khalifa International Stadium track

The 26-year-old sits ahead of Olympic and defending champion Nafi Thiam.

Johnson-Thompson set personal bests in the 100m hurdles and shot put to cap an impressive day and is allowing herself to dream of gold.

“Why not?” she said. “It’s something that I’m aiming to do, it’s something that I’m in shape to do, and I’m in a very good position to do it.

“But you never know with these things on day two. I’ve worked very hard on my day two, so we’ll see what happens.”

Laura Muir will also run in the 1500m semi-final after coming through her heat.

It was the first competitive race for the Scot since she tore a calf muscle at the Anniversary Games in London in July.

“It was a pretty good feeling, I was quite nervous before the race,” she said.

“I’m usually not for the heats, but it’s just been so long, it’s so good to be out there and feel like myself, and be like: ‘Oh, I can still run.’

PA

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