Wednesday, September 28News That Matters

Dina Asher-Smith wins World Championships women’s 100m silver; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce takes gold

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2019 World Athletics Championships
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha Dates: 27 September-6 October
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app; Listen live on BBC Radio 5 Live; Live streams, clips and text commentary online.

Dina Asher-Smith became the first British woman to win an individual World Championships sprint medal in 36 years as she claimed silver in the 100m final with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce taking gold.

It is the 23-year-old’s first major global medal outdoors with the 200m to follow, where she is a strong contender for gold.

Fraser-Pryce, 32, powered to 10.71 seconds for her eighth world title while Asher-Smith’s 10.83 is a new British record.

“I have worked so hard for these championships and hopefully I’ll go on to do even bigger things,” Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.

“I’m really pleased to come away with a personal best and national record. That is more than you could ever ask for in a world final.

“I was thinking on the line: this is your time to go.”

Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou took bronze in 10.90.

British athletics has waited a long time for someone to emulate the achievement of Kathy Cook, who won 200m bronze in the inaugural World Athletics Championships, back in 1983 in Helsinki.

Few showed the potential to do so in the intervening years before Asher-Smith’s emergence. The Kent-born athlete was a double European junior gold medallist in 2013, before taking the world junior 100m title the following year.

She grew in stature when she became the first British women to dip under 11 seconds in 2015 before winning the European 100m title in 2016.

Relay medals followed at world and Olympic level before she showed her teeth by winning three European golds last year.

Expectations grew of what she could now achieve at world and Olympic level, but prior to the competition Asher-Smith told BBC Sport that she avoided making any predictions public – stating that her aims were only shared by those close to her, including her long-time coach John Blackie.

Her tunnel vision and mental fortitude took her to a different level this season, and she has now been rewarded with world 100m silver.

Asher-Smith is now aiming to win a further two medals – in the 200m and 4x100m relay.

“I think we’ve all got to dare to dream, simply because it’s the championships,” Asher-Smith said of her 200m hopes, with the heats beginning on Monday from 15:05 BST.

“I’m going to go to bed, hopefully get some sleep and turn up in the right state of mind for tomorrow.”

Fraser-Pryce wins 11th world title – 11 years after Olympic gold

In the end it was a straight duel between Fraser-Pryce and Asher-Smith, who had defeated the Jamaican in the Brussels Diamond League final earlier in September.

The Briton came to Doha having recorded times under 11 seconds in every 100m race she had run this season – six in total – bar the heats of the British Championships. She maintained that consistency in Doha, clocking 10.96 in Saturday’s heats and then 10.87 in her semi-final two hours before Sunday’s final.

But Fraser-Pryce looked that little bit sharper. The 32-year-old, whose first major global gold was the Beijing 2008 Olympic 100m title, set the fastest time in a World Championships heat with 10.80 before cruising to 10.81 in her semi-final.

In the final, Asher-Smith gave all she could but it was not enough to overhaul one of world sprinting’s all-time greats.

However, the fillip for Asher-Smith is that Fraser-Pryce is not on the startlist for the 200m while Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who easily beat the Briton in the Birmingham Diamond League, will only race in the 400m because of the schedule.

The Briton is ranked first in the event this season, although both Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and Jamaica’s Olympic champion Elaine Thompson have run faster times.

Bradshaw just misses out on medal

Holly Bradshaw

In the women’s pole vault final, European bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw just missed out on a first global outdoor medal, finishing fourth with a best clearance of 4.80m – just 1cm below her British record.

She twice failed at 4.85m, and then with a last-ditch attempt at 4.90m.

The gold was won by Russian Anzhelika Sidorova, under the Authorised Neutral Athlete flag, with 4.95m. USA’s Sandi Morris took silver and Katerina Stefanidi claimed bronze.

Meanwhile, American athletics great Allyson Felix claimed her 12th world title as her quartet won the first 4x400m mixed relay final at a World Championships.

The 33-year-old, who only returned to competitive racing earlier in September 10 months after giving birth to her first child by emergency caesarean, ran the second leg as USA won in a world record time of three minutes 09.34 seconds. Jamaica claimed silver and Bahrain took bronze.

Great Britain’s team of Rabah Yousif, Zoey Clark, Emily Diamond and Martyn Rooney finished fourth.

In the men’s 200m, Britain’s sprinters Adam Gemili, Miguel Francis and Zharnel Hughes all advanced from their heats to qualify for Monday’s semi-finals.

Gemili, 25, won his heat in 20.06 – his fastest time for three years and his fourth quickest ever – and said the display was “a bit of redemption” for narrowly failing to reach the 100m final.

“To mentally park [yesterday] for the moment was difficult, but I’ve been working a lot on my psychology,” said Gemili, who was edged out in a photo-finish on Saturday.

“I wanted to get a good semi-final so hopefully this has guaranteed that. A bit of redemption for yesterday because I feel like a let a lot of people down, which was disappointing for me.”

Francis, the fastest Briton this year having run 19.97 in London, and Hughes, fresh from coming sixth in the 100m final, both eased through.

European 100m champion Hughes, who ran a modest 20.24 in finishing second, said: “Last night I didn’t get any sleep as I was held up by anti-doping so I fell asleep about 4am this morning and then I had to be up for 8am. I know once I get back to warm-up, get an ice bath, I’ll be OK.”

The event’s outstanding favourite Noah Lyles of the USA, whose 19.50 seconds in Lausanne this year was the fourth fastest ever, was in third gear as he came second in his heat in 20.26.

There will be no British representation in the 800m final with Elliott Giles, Jamie Webb and Kyle Langford all falling short in the semi-finals.

Elsewhere, USA’s Christian Taylor won an incredible fourth triple jump title with a fifth-round effort of 17.92m. Compatriot Will Claye was second with 17.74m and there was a first major medal for Burundi’s Hugues Fabrice Zango, who clinched bronze with 17.66m – an African record.

The women’s 20km walk was due to begin at 23:59 local time.

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