Tag Archives: Dina Asher-Smith

UK Athletics names only 17 athletes on top-level funding for next Olympics

UK ATHLETICS has announced its list of athletes who will receive potentially career-defining funding as the summer Olympics scheduled for Paris in 2024 heave into view.

Among them is Keely Hodgkinson, who has been offered top level funding on the British Athletics Olympic world class programme.

The 19-year-old won 800m silver at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer, smashing Kelly Holmes’s British record, which had stood since 1995, by almost a second.

In March she became the youngest British winner at the European Athletics Indoor Championships for more than half a century and the youngest ever 800m European indoor champion, despite not being on full funding.

Performance director Sara Symington said: “As we start the Paris cycle, and longer-term Los Angeles 2028, we made a number of informed decisions in regard to the world-class programme membership that aligns with our strategic priorities.

“We will work closely with the 67 athlete-and-coach pairings that we are offering membership to, and will look to add support and value in their journey via their individual athlete plan,” she droned.

“The selection process is robust and lengthy and we use a lot of data which is complemented by the knowledge of our event leads to inform the decision-making process.

“We have given careful consideration to those athletes who meet the selection criteria and performance matrix which align to the future ambitions of the world class programme.”

Josh Kerr moves up to podium-level funding after winning 1500m bronze in Japan, as do Andrew Pozzi, Jemma Reekie and Jazmin Sawyers.

Alex Bell, who came seventh in the 800m final, has been offered podium funding just two years after saying she was considering taking legal action against UK Athletics after being overlooked for funding for Tokyo.

They join Dina Asher-Smith, Laura Muir, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Adam Gemili, with just 17 athletes on top-level funding. Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes have been downgraded to relay funding only, despite Hughes reaching the 100m Olympic final.

Olympic finalists Lizzie Bird, Jake Heyward and Marc Scott are among the athletes to be offered membership at podium potential level. Andrew Butchart, CJ Ujah and Tom Bosworth have seen their funding cut.

Source: morningstaronline.co.uk

Christine Mboma sets junior world record in Zurich

Namibian teenage sensation Christine Mboma, continued her sparkling season with victory in the 200m that was held at the finals of the Wanda Diamond League series that was held on Thursday (9) night in Zurich.

Mboma set a new junior world record on Thursday night when she won the women’s 200m final at Wanda Diamond League held at the Weltklasse meeting.

The Namibian athlete clocked 21.78 seconds to set a new junior world record and beat a strong field that included Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith.

Jackson was relegated to second place, with a personal-best time of 21.81 seconds followed by Asher-Smith in third place after clocking 22.19.

Mboma is classified as having Differences in sexual development (DSD) — or being an “intersex” athlete — with naturally high testosterone levels and is thus barred from her chosen event, the 400m.

This regulations barred the female athletes – including South African star Caster Semenya — who have what the athletics body called “high levels of endogenous testosterone” from competing on the international stage unless they maintained low blood testosterone levels.

Blood serum tests conducted in June confirmed that both Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi had levels of endogenous testosterone above the World Athletics-mandated limit of 5 nanomoles of serum testosterone per litre.

They were forced to stop competing in 400m races and have since been running in 200m dashes.


Christine Mboma stuns stars in 200m race in Brussels

Namibia’s Christine Mboma was the standout performer on Friday night at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.

The Tokyo silver medallist produced her trademark fast finish to win in 21.84, the same time as she recorded in the U20 World Championship in Nairobi two weeks ago and just three-hundredths outside her world junior record set in the Tokyo final.

Mboma, who had to step down to 200m due to World Athletics’ rules relating to naturally high testosterone levels in women, said: “It was my first Diamond League experience and to be able to win in such a strong field is great.

The 18 year-old has now gone sub-22 four times in the women’s 200m in 2021(21.97, 21.81, 21.84. 21.84).

“I’m really happy with this win because it’s my first Diamond League race,” said Mboma. “To be able to win in such a strong field is great.

“It has been a very tough and busy season with the Olympics and the world junior championships, but I’m still in good shape.”

Jamaica’s double Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson was second in 21.95 with reigning world champion Dina Asher-Smith coming home in third place in season’s best of 22.04.

World U20 silver medallist Champion Beatrice Masilingi also from Namibia finished in a distant fifth place in 22.50.

Dina Asher-Smith crashes out of 100m final

Dina Asher-Smith crashed out of the women’s 100m at the semi-final stage of the Tokyo Olympics.

However, Team GB’s Daryll Neita was able to secure the final fastest loser place with her semi-final run of 11 seconds flat.

Asher-Smith, the 100m silver medallist from the 2019 world championships, ran in the first of three semi-final heats and recorded a time of 11.05.

The 25-year-old’s time was well below her personal best 10.83 and season’s best[10.91.

Elaine Thompson-Herah won Asher-Smith’s heat, with Ajla Del Ponte taking the second automatic qualifying place.

Great Britain’s Asha Philip’s campaign also came to an end as she finished last in the second semi-final.

Ostrava 201:8Ta Lou gives Africa first Gold Medal

Marie-Josee Ta Lou gave Team Africa got her first gold medal in women 100m race m at the first day of the Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.

Ta Lou smashed the two super power continents of America’s and Europe that were led by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith and Dafne Schippers.

Ta Lou took the two head on to romp home in 11:14 with Asher- Smiths coming in second in two seconds later with Schippers wrapping the podium first three finishes in 11:21


European Athletics has announced the European team for the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 to be held on 8-9 September.

The team features several of the leading performers from the recent European Championships and includes the likes of triple European champion Dina Asher-Smith, European 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm, world pole vault record-holder Renaud Lavillenie, world discus champion Andrius Gudzius, world and Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi, world and Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic, world and Olympic hammer champion Anita Wlodarczyk and world 200m champions Ramil Guliyev and Dafne Schippers.

The team also includes four Czech stars who’ll be competing before their own fans at Ostrava’s Mestsky Stadium: shot putter Tomas Stanek, this year’s world indoor bronze medallist; Jakub Vadlejch, the 2017 world silver medallist in the javelin; European 1500m finalist Simona Vrzalova; and Nikola Ogrodnikova, the European javelin silver medallist.

Athletes will be aiming to collect team points, individual prize and a piece, quite literally, of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 trophy.



100m: Jak Ali Harvey (TUR), Churandy Martina (NED)
200m: Ramil Guliyev (TUR), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (GBR)
400m: Kevin Borlee (BEL), Matthew Hudson-Smith (GBR)
800m: Andreas Kramer (SWE),  Michal Rozmys (POL)
1500m: Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR), Marcin Lewandsowski (POL)
3000m: Morhad Amdouni (FRA), Henrik Ingebrigtsen (NOR)
3000m steeplechase: Fernando Carro (ESP), Mahiedine Mekhissi (FRA)
110m hurdles: Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA), Sergey Shubenkov (ANA)
400m hurdles: Yasmani Copello (TUR), Karsten Warholm (NOR)
High jump: Ilia Ivaniuk (ANA), Maksim Nedaskau (BLR)
Pole vault: Renaud Lavillenie (FRA), Timur Morgunov (ANA)
Long jump: Serhii Nykyforov (UKR), Miltiadis Tentoglou (GRE)
Triple jump: Nelson Evora (POR), Pablo Torrijos (ESP)
Shot put: Michal Haratyk (POL), Tomas Stanek (CZE)
Discus: Andrius Gudzius (LTU), Daniel Stahl (SWE)
Hammer: Bence Halasz (HUN), Wojciech Nowicki (POL)
Javelin: Thomas Rohler (GER), Jakub Vadlejch (CZE)
4x100m: Aykut Ay (TUR), Emre Zafer Barnes (TUR), Ramil Guliyev (TUR), Jak Ali Harvey (TUR), Yigitcan Hekimoglu (TUR), Izzet Safer (TUR)
Mixed 4x400m: Kevin Borlee (BEL), Matt Hudson-Smith (GBR)
Reserve: Ilya Shkurenov (ANA)

100m: Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), Dafne Schippers (NED)
200m: Ivet Lalova-Collio (BUL), Dafne Schippers (NED)
400m: Lisanne De Witte (NED), Justyna Swiety-Ersetic (POL)
800m: Natalia Pryshchepa (UKR), Anna Sabat (POL)
1500m: Sofia Ennaoui (POL), Simona Vrzalova (CZE)
3000m: Sifan Hassan (NED), Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER)
3000m steeplechase: Anna Emilie Moller (DEN), Ophélie Claude-Boxberger (FRA)
100m hurdles: Pamela Dutkiewicz (GER), Elvira Herman (BLR)
400m hurdles: Meghan Beesley (GBR), Anna Ryzhkova (UKR)
High jump: Mirela Demireva (BUL), Maria Lasitskene (ANA)
Pole vault: Anzhelika Sidorova (ANA), Katerina Stefanidi (GRE)
Long jump: Malaika Mihambo (GER), Shara Proctor (GBR)
Triple jump: Kristin Gierisch (GER), Paraskevi Papahristou (GRE)
Shot put: Paulina Guba (POL), Christina Schwanitz (GER)
Discus: Nadine Muller (GER), Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
Hammer: Alexandra Tavernier (FRA), Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)
Javelin: Christin Hussong (GER), Nikola Ogrodnikova (CZE)
4x100m: Dina Asher-Smith (GBR), Kristal Awuah (GBR), Imani Lansiquot (GBR), Ashleigh Nelson (GBR), Bianca Williams (GBR)
Mixed 4x400m: Lisanne De Witte (NED), Justyna Swiety-Ersetic (POL)
Reserve: Katerina Cachova (CZE)

Susan Egelstaff: Despite Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s success, kids should not specialise early

THE European Athletics Championships, which concluded in Berlin last weekend, was remarkable for a number of reasons. Primarily, it proved beyond all reasonable doubt that athletics can still be one of the greatest spectator sports on earth.

From a British perspective, it was Dina Asher-Smith’s triple gold that grabbed the headlines but even more astonishing were the exploits of Jakob Ingebrigtsen. The 17-year-old Norwegian became the first man ever to do the 1500m-5000m double at the European Championships and his story is remarkable not only because of the precocious age at which he has won this brace of titles but also because of his back story.

he story of the Ingebrigtsen family has been repeated tirelessly this week; his two older brothers are also world-class middle distance runners who are previous European champions and he has a younger sister who is showing the kind of talent that suggests that, in time, she will also emerge onto the world scene.

Ingebrigtsen followed in his two elder brothers footsteps by becoming European 1500m champion last week in a thrilling run before following that with his 5000m run, in which he dominated from three laps out and as a result, produced a comfortable victory. For three brothers – who are all coached by their father – to all make it to this level is astonishing but for Ingebrigtsen to have scaled these heights at quite such a precocious age is breath-taking.

When asked during the European Championships how he has managed to reach this level quite so early, he replied: “I’ve been a professional runner since I was eight, nine, ten years old. I’ve been training, dedicated and following a good structure – the same as my brothers – from an early age.”

Ingebrigtsen’s comments are in-keeping with a prevailing feeling in some quarters that early specialisation is the way to go when it comes to producing elite athletes. Malcolm Gladwell’s famous 10,000 hours theory, which states that 10,000 hours of practice are needed in order to master a skill, is often cited in the push for kids to focus on one specific sport from an increasingly early age.

And certainly Ingebrigtsen’s success, coupled with the success of the likes of early specialisers such as the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova and Tiger Woods, back up the theory that starting early is the path to follow.

However, this could not be further from the truth. Yes, there will always be exceptions and it is easy to see why Ingebrigtsen’s comments about having trained like a professional athlete since the age of 8 would give rise to the thinking that the earlier a kid starts, the better.

Numerous studies show that despite the odd exception who does come through having focused on a single sport at a young age, in fact, early specialisation is hugely detrimental to a young athlete.

University of Wisconsin study found that those who focus on one single sport in childhood double their chances of picking up a serious injury compared to those taking part in a number of different sports.

Being involved in a range of sports works wonders for developing a kid’s physical literacy, as well as decreasing the risk of picking up an overuse injury before the body is strong enough to cope with repetitive movements.

In the same vein, for a kid to devote themselves to one single sport before they even become a teenager has been shown to increase the risk of burnout as well as physiological problems which, more often than not, encourages that individual to drop out of the sport entirely.

It cannot be forgotten that only a tiny percentage of the population become Olympians, even fewer then go on to pick up silverware. Over 99 percent of children playing sports will not become world-class athletes and so to centre their young lives around doing so is foolish in the extreme.

Ingebrigtsen is a remarkable individual, but he most certainly does not provide a blue-print for what must be followed. Instead, if a kid begins their sporting journey doing a number of disciplines, and doing it for fun, they are far more likely to make it to the top than if they are treated like a professional athlete while still at primary school.

Source: heraldscotland.com

Sebastian Coe: Now it’s all about world and Olympic titles for Asher-Smith

From a British perspective, we’ve long talked about the likes of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford.

Two have retired while Mo’s switched his attention to the road but Berlin truly felt like the passing of the baton.

As a nation, we’ve now got some worthy successors in the wings, the stand-outs being Dina Asher-Smith and Laura Muir. Together at these European Championships, they’ve taken the crucial jump from running well on the circuit and being good at Diamond League races to big national moments at outdoor major championships.

Now it’s all about turning European titles into gold at the World Championships next year and then the Olympics in 2020.

Before the Europeans, I’d talked of a potential treble in the sense that the British men had the chance of a 1-2-3 in the 100metres.

The treble manifested itself in the end but not in the way I’d envisaged, with Dina simply a class apart. It was an apt performance in a stadium with the  history it has.

I actually watched her 100m semi-final from the warm-up area with the British team and I was back inside the stadium for the final itself.

And you have to say that her performance was absolutely sensational, in fact the same could be said for all her performances.

The second she walked out for the 100m final, it looked like her natural territory, almost as if she knew she was going to win.

But despite her making it look easy, there really is a big gulf between the Diamond League and a championship performance, one that she’s closed.

Of course, I thought she had every chance of doing the treble but these are class fields. And no one else can say this is just the Europeans — Dina’s is the standard in the world right now, she’s very much the top of the heap.

Source: standard.co.uk

Top 10 moments of Berlin 2018

Pure Dina-mite

Dina Asher-Smith’s scintillating sprint speed and beaming smile lit up the championships. The 22-year-old was untouchable in Berlin with world-leading marks and British records at 100m and 200m before anchoring the GB 4x100m team to gold on the final night to seal a hat-trick of titles.

Asher-Smith is a joy to watch and at the height of her powers. Or is she? For perhaps Doha 2019 and Tokyo 2020 will see her deliver even greater results.


If winning the 1500m aged 17 wasn’t amazing enough, Jakob Ingebrigtsen completed a phenomenal double by taking 5000m gold in emphatic style 24 hours later.

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, 17, beats brother to complete golden double at European Athletics Championships. Photo: Getty Images

He’s not even old enough to drive a car or buy a beer in his native Norway but in Berlin he breezed away from his rivals in both races and even had the confidence to high-five his brother, Henrik, part-way through the 5000m.

Prodigious pole vaulting

This was a championships where two youngsters redefined what is possible as a teenager in athletics. After Ingebrigtsen’s double gold, Armand Duplantis, who is 10 months older than the Norwegian and a mere 18 years old, first cleared a world under-20 record of 6.00m and then sailed over 6.05m to stun a German crowd that notably appreciated track and field events in equal measure.

Celebrating in style

Nothing helps boost the atmosphere at an athletics event more than host nation success. So when German javelin throwers Thomas Rohler and Andreas Hofmann finished one-two in the men’s javelin, the crowd was guaranteed to go crazy.

Rohler celebrated by leaping into the steeplechase water before delivering one of the quotes of the championships. “We have so many strong throwers because we share knowledge,” he said, “we put our heads together, the secret is not to have secrets.”

Marathon drama

Berlin is famed for its super-fast marathon in September, but the European Championship women’s race last weekend was full of drama when winner Volha Mazuronak first suffered a gory, mid-race nose bleed before later almost veering off in the wrong direction when going toe to toe with Clémence Calvin in the closing stages.

Volha Mazuronak won the women’s marathon at the European Championship in Berlin

Clash of the titans

The head-to-head of the championships, for me, came in the heptathlon. Many felt Nafi Thiam, the Olympic and world champion, would be a class apart, but it was closer than most imagined as Katarina Johnson-Thompson put up a terrific fight.

Even when needing a seemingly impossible 14-second victory over the Belgian in the climactic 800m, Johnson-Thompson ran with bold, front-running tactics as she sent out a strong message ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Doha next year.

Long jump battle

Malaika Mihambo delighted her home crowd by taking women’s long jump gold but the event featured a tremendous scrap for medals with Maryna Bekh of Ukraine and Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers of Britain producing their biggest marks in a dramatic final round.

Malaika Mihambo delighted her home crowd by taking women’s long jump gold. Photo: Getty Images

Sawyers was the unlucky athlete to miss out on a podium place but won a gold medal for sportsmanship by going up to Bekh to congratulate her only seconds after the Ukrainian had nudged her out of a medal position.

Thrills and spills

There was another good-natured moment in the women’s 800m rounds when Renee Eykens of Belgium fell dramatically in the closing stages of her race only to be consoled and helped up by the winner, Nataliya Pryshchepa. The Ukrainian was rewarded for her sportsmanship, too, as she went on to win gold in the final.

Hudson-Smith’s superb semi-final

British 400m runner Matt Hudson-Smith was an emphatic winner in the one-lap final but rich potential was probably more evident in the semi-finals when he looked phenomenally easy coasting home in 44.76. If he maintains this form, surely it’s only a matter of time before he breaks Thomas Schonlebe’s European record of 44.33 and Iwan Thomas’s UK best of 44.36.

Berlin erupts at steeplechase victory

When Gesa Krause accelerated into the final water jump in the 3000m ’chase in the final session on Sunday, her home crowd went crazy. The 26-year-old produced a brilliant climax to the championships for the hosts as she stormed past Fabienne Schlumpf of Switzerland to take the title. Germany enjoyed a great week, too, with six golds and 17 medals but Krause was the nation’s only track winner.

Five areas for improvement

It was a brilliant championship but not perfect and here are some parts that could have been improved.

» Some of the timetabling was bizarre, such as scheduling the women’s 400m final on the same evening as the women’s 4x400m final.

» Making some athletes compete in an extra round was unfair and, at times, pointless. The qualifying round of the men’s 110m hurdles, for example, saw just three out of sixteen athletes eliminated.

» The European Championships is a superb event when it does not have to compete with the Olympic Games. But it lost its lustre in 2016 and the same will happen in 2020 when the main goal for athletes will be Tokyo. In a crowded calendar, once every four years is surely best.

» It looks faintly ridiculous to see the “I run clean” anti-doping logo on the chest of throwers, jumpers and especially race walkers. Is it really too hard to put “I jump/throw/walk clean” on the bib numbers instead?

» The creators of ‘Dynamic New Athletics’ probably thought they’d picked a great moment to launch their idea by announcing it during the European Championships but many were left non-plussed by the concept (which includes an assault course-style race with sled and parachute pulling) especially when the (traditional) track and field in Berlin was so entertaining anyway.

Source: athleticsweekly.com

Dina Asher-Smith is the new Queen of British athletics

As of 8.46pm local time in Berlin on Saturday, British sprinting entered unchartered territory thanks to one woman.

Dina Asher-Smith is not just the greatest female sprinter Britain has ever produced. She is not just the queen of the European 100m and 200m, having destroyed everyone who dared stand in her path over five incredible days.

She is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best sprinter anywhere on the planet right now.

Sure, there is the caveat that it is not an Olympic or World Championship year and the Americans and Jamaicans therefore have no major competition to peak for. It is an argument not without logic. But, to be frank, it would probably not make the slightest bit of difference right now. Not the way Asher-Smith is running.

Based on what we have witnessed in Berlin over the past week, it is difficult to think of anyone in the world who could touch her at the moment.

The numbers speak for themselves. Her 10.85-second winning time from Tuesday put her top of this year’s 100m world rankings and the 21.89sec she ran on Saturday night did the same for 200m.

They would also have been good enough to win both world titles at last summer’s World Championships in London.

And all at the age of 22. It is impossible to imagine a future that does not end with Olympic and world podiums. She may yet become the first British woman in history to win a global sprint title.

“I have obliterated my own expectations,” she said, unable to grasp the enormity of her achievements in Berlin.

“I told myself loosely this year that I wanted to run a 10.8sec [for 100m] and I had a joke with my physio that if I ran a 10.85sec I would buy myself a cute necklace that I have been eyeing up that is a bit expensive.

“Then when I did it the other day I was like: ‘Oh no I might actually have to buy it’.

“Coming into the 200m I didn’t have a time in my head because I didn’t know how tired I would be and it is a bit cold. I just wanted to win.

“It was over in a blur and I am just full of happiness and relief. 21.89sec… I haven’t taken it. With the 10.85sec it is more than I could have asked for.”

Watching on from her vantage point above the finish line, the tears did not take long to flow for her mother Julie, who accompanies her daughter to all her races worldwide.

The Asher-Smith success story is a true family affair. Only earlier this year did Asher-Smith, fresh her university graduation, move out of the family home and begin grappling with such tedious things as council tax, bills and food shopping. “I’m just trying to be a grown up,” she said.

Even then, she has only moved 12 miles down the road – close enough for Julie and her father Winston to come round and help out with cooking when required.

As the self-proclaimed “master of understatement”, her coach John Blackie is not a man to be reduced to tears – he wryly greeted one of her numerous national records earlier this season with the verdict: “She has performed quite well.”

But even he was unable to ignore the magnitude of Asher-Smith’s feat on Saturday night, describing it as “stratospheric”.

Her achievements legitimately mean more to Blackie than most coaches. She was just nine years old when he first spotted her athletic ability on the track in Bromley, south London.

They have stuck together through thick and thin ever since – through national age group titles, world junior titles, European titles and now this.

Indeed there was a point not too long ago where it became apparent that she was too quick for the rest of the female sprinters in Blackie’s group, so he now throws her in with the men instead.

“I’m normally at the back because they’ve gone off and it’s my job to hunt them down,” she said.

“If I’m too far away John will nudge me and say: ‘You’ve got to keep up with them if you want to run the good times’.

“Even though I was able to [win gold in Berlin] and it might have looked good, that’s down to six days a week for however many weeks a year chasing the boys and letting them drag me round the track and kill me.”

It is a winning formula. Away from the track Asher-Smith will now undoubtedly become the brightest beacon for a sport that is forever having to fight for its worth in Britain – that rare person who punctures the wider conscious and extends beyond the athletics hardcore.

She will seize Jessica Ennis-Hill’s mantle as the darling of British athletics and serve as the figurehead for a new generation that has excelled at these European Championships.

And the most endearing thing of all is it she will to do so with that disbelieving smile on her face, continually achieving things she never thought herself capable of, repeatedly obliterating her expectations.

Source: telegraph.co.uk