Asher-Smith claims Euro dash double with ‘astonishing’ run

Nice Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith accomplished a European Championships dash double in Berlin on Saturday. The 22-year-old, who broke her personal British file to win the 100m, left world champion Dafne Schippers trailing to take 200m gold in 21.89 seconds, the quickest time by a lady this 12 months.

Eight-time world champion and four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson assesses her probabilities of profitable Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2020.

I’ve been watching British athletics with the BBC since 2002 and in all that point I’ve not seen anybody like Dina Asher-Smith.

There have been athletes who’ve proven as a lot if no more potential of their junior profession. British sprinting at junior stage has all the time been good.

However at this level of their profession, somebody who has continued to enhance 12 months after 12 months, can compete in opposition to the very best on the earth and has the total bundle, bodily, mentally and when it comes to their perspective? No. I do not assume I’ve seen anybody like her. And I believe the details would help that.

There hasn’t been anybody who has received up to now the place they’re a worldwide medal contender at such a younger age, aside from Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Mo Farah took a lifetime to grasp his potential, and for those who take a look at Greg Rutherford, no one ever anticipated that both. He simply occurred to hit a time within the lengthy leap when it was a bit simpler to win championships. No disrespect to Greg as a result of I’ve all the time mentioned you win in opposition to the individuals who you might be up in opposition to.

European Championships 2018: Asher-Smith ‘among the best on the earth’ – Johnson

How a lot sooner can she go?

Dina can go sooner. How a lot sooner is a tough one. She’s clearly nonetheless very younger and nonetheless studying the 100m and 200m from a race technique perspective.

I’m certain she and her coach can nonetheless discover some enhancements from a velocity and energy standpoint.

The opposite manner is when it comes to her competitiveness. She has proven within the final couple of years and in Berlin that she is a good competitor as a race favorite. She will not be the race favorite – she’ll be one of many favourites – over the subsequent two years on the World Championships and Olympics. That may be a completely different manner of competing.

How briskly can she go? Given the occasions that she has run right here, any enchancment in any respect and she or he is in medal competition, even gold-medal competition.

Shades of Olympic nice Fraser-Pryce

I mentioned after Dina’s victory within the 100m that she jogged my memory of 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She is analogous in stature and comparable in the way in which she dominated the 100m.

The best way she executed the race with a really fast begin out of the blocks, separating away from the sphere with no actual glitches in approach or transition, all jogged my memory of Shelly-Ann. The entire levels of the race have been very easy and with nice approach.

That is likely one of the benefits that Shelly-Ann has had and that’s one thing that Dina has as effectively.

Persona of an Olympic champion?

Asher-Smith has set the quickest occasions over each 100m and 200m this 12 months

We have now talked so much on BBC Sport down the years about British sprinters who seem to have had the potential to be a World Championship and Olympic medallist.

In lots of instances they have not received there. As a rule that may be attributed to the selections they’ve made, that are based mostly on maturity and a capability to deal with the stress.

One of many strongest issues about Dina which makes me imagine that she may get to the Olympic podium is her maturity and her perspective. She is a targeted athlete who’s having fun with the game however who can also be pushed and goal-oriented.

She’ll should be. There’s such a desperation in Nice Britain for a champion in any occasion that it does create an incredible quantity of focus and stress that athletes from different nations similar to Jamaica or United States in all probability do not feel.

That absolute desperation is exclusive to Nice Britain. It’s what makes the game so nice right here however it’s also one of many issues that creates an incredible quantity of stress.

100m or 200m?

Dina Asher-Smith wins 100m gold with a British file time of 10.85 seconds

I believe that she might be higher at 100m than 200m, purely as an athlete. However the 100m is extra aggressive which makes that race harder.

The 200m is not fairly as aggressive at world stage. I do not assume there’s a downside with doubling up; I believe that’s her future.

I’d really warning in opposition to simply specializing in one since you wish to be a world and Olympic champion and her likelihood is higher if she is doing each. I do not assume her likelihood is going to dramatically enhance by specializing in one.

Is she able to profitable gold in Tokyo?

She is the entire bundle and now it’s only a case of making an attempt to eke out the little enhancements in all phases of the race and simply be a fraction higher.

Do I believe persons are getting carried away? You are British. The Brits all the time get carried away.

I do not assume that’s ever going to cease so, if I have been in her place and I used to be her coach, I’d develop a technique to verify she does not get affected by that.

There’s nothing you are able to do as an athlete to cease that, you simply have to determine tips on how to take care of it finest.

Is she able to profitable gold in Tokyo? Completely.

Michael Johnson was talking to BBC Sport’s Tom Reynolds


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