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5 talking points about Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith
Asher-Smith won silver on Sunday and is expected to win World Championship gold in the 200m.
Dina Asher-Smith set a new British record of 10.83 seconds as she won 100m silver at the World Championships behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five talking points around the 23-year-old ahead of her quest for 200m gold.
Can she win 200m gold?
Asher-Smith is the favourite to win Wednesday’s 200m final at the Khalifa International Stadium. With no Shaunae Miller-Uibo – the Commonwealth champion from the Bahamas who is focusing on the 400m due to the schedule – the stage is set for Asher-Smith to take the title. She is European champion after winning in Berlin last year and, while she needs to negotiate Monday’s heats and Tuesday’s semi, there seems little to stop her claiming her first world title.
What does this mean ahead of the Olympics?
Asher-Smith’s has become one of the world’s best sprinters over the last 18 months. A 200m victory after Sunday’s impressive 100m silver would send out a huge warning to her rivals ahead of next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. It is unfortunate she has encountered the returning Fraser-Pryce in imperious form as her 100m final time of 10.83 seconds would have been enough to win gold at the London World Championships two years ago.
Can she go faster?
The British record holder broke he own mark on Sunday for the second major championships running. Last August she set 10.85s to win gold at the Europeans in Berlin but went better in Doha. Asher-Smith has proved she is getting faster under the tutelage of coach John Blackie and there is little to suggest she will slow down.
Can she shoulder the burden of being British Athletics’ golden girl?
The former history student gives off a carefree vibe but is very businesslike when it comes down to the serious stuff. There is a lack of depth within the British squad and while Laura Muir and Katarina Johnson-Thompson are big stars, Asher-Smith is the main draw. She needs to help carry the torch for athletics and so far has proved she can handle the spotlight, but the pressure will now only intensify.
Will Asher-Smith’s success paper over the British cracks?
A medal target of between seven and nine was set pre-championships, with Asher-Smith expected to win three, including in the 4x100m relay. Her silver on Sunday was Britain’s first as other athletes have so far either failed to reach finals or fallen just short of the podium in the opening three days. Asher-Smith is on target to achieve her expected results while Britain will look to Muir, Johnson-Thompson, Adam Gemili and the other relay teams this week to get the squad up to their target.