How do Great Britain bounce back from disappointing World Championships?

Team GB won just five medals in Doha, their lowest total since 2005.

By Press Association Published: 7 October 2019 - 11.28am

Great Britain finished the World Championships with just five medals – their worst haul for 14 years.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what their performance means ahead of the Tokyo Olympics for Team GB.

Will Dina Asher-Smith replicate her success in Tokyo?

IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 – Day Six – Khalifa International Stadium
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith won the 200m title in Doha (Mike Rickett/PA)

The 23-year-old claimed a historic hat-trick of medals in Doha. She became the first British athlete to win three medals at a World Championships after victory in the 200m and silver medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay. She broke her own British records in the 100m and 200m but will have to go even faster in Japan. None of her main rivals ran in the 200m and, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce dominant in the 100m, improvement for the Olympics is still needed.

Has Katarina Johnson-Thompson set up the battle of next summer?

Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed four personal bests on the way to dethroning Nafi Thiam as world champion. Belgium’s Thiam had not lost since 2016 and is the defending Olympic champion. Johnson-Thompson has proved Thiam is beatable having finished second by just 57 points to her at the European Championships last summer. She has improved dramatically since a move to France to train in 2017 and it is a straight fight between the pair for gold in Japan.

What can a fit Laura Muir do in Tokyo?

IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 – Day Nine – Khalifa International Stadium
Great Britain’s Laura Muir came fifth in the 1500m (Martin Rickett/PA)

Laura Muir suffered a wretched build-up to the World Championships after tearing a calf muscle at the Anniversary Games in London. She then suffered a knee problem and a stomach bug in the weeks leading up to Doha. Despite that the Scot still ran her second best time of three minutes 55.76 seconds in the 1500m final to finish fifth. A fully fit Muir should be able to boost Team GB’s medal tally in Tokyo.

What happened to the men?

There were no individual medals for the men in Qatar as Adam Gemili fell agonisingly short again in the 200m. The 26-year-old came fourth, in a repeat of his agony at the Rio Olympics, before helping the 4x100m relay team to silver. Zharnel Hughes could only finish sixth in the 100m while Jake Wightman came fifth in the 1500m. They were the closest the men came in a Championship of a few near misses.

Can others step up?

PA Graphics
PA Graphics

Holly Bradshaw came fourth in the pole vault, Callum Hawkins just missed out on a medal in the marathon and Nick Miller came 11th in the hammer after his second throw of over 80m, which would have earned silver, was ruled as a foul. There was also relay drama when the women’s 4x400m squad finished fourth, were upgraded to bronze after Jamaica’s disqualification only to drop back down again after their rivals were reinstated following an appeal. It would not have taken much for Great Britain’s medal tally to improve but it is the small margins which make the difference at this level.