Dina Asher-Smith sprint rival sends out strong message after Doha World Championships heats
- Dina Asher-Smith got through her 100m heat at a time of 10.96 seconds
- Her rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce got over the line at a pacy 10.80 seconds
- The 23-year-old has maintained a media black out while she competes
- The Brit is hoping to become the first female medalist in 100m at the event
While Dina Asher-Smith maintained her silence, her biggest rival for the gold medal in the 100m sent out a quite magnificent and loud message.
Granted, timings in a World Championship heat are worth about as much as a handful of sand in a desert. And yet when the clock stops at 10.80sec, as it did for Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in heat one, you have to wonder. You probably have to fear for the best of Britain, as well.
Asher-Smith showed good form in her own right, of course. That is what she does – the 23-year-old has been deeply impressive in her consistency this year and her victory in heat four was accomplished in 10.96sec. It was her eighth race at the distance this season and seven of those have come in at under 11sec.
Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith got through the 100m heats with a strong time of 10.96 seconds
The 23-year-old has observed a media black out while she competes in Doha
That is why you have to make her a good bet on Sunday to become Britain’s first female medallist for 36 years in a world-level 100m or 200m. Her timing placed her third among the qualifiers for the semi-finals, and showed she is in the kind of shape to get her bid for three medals here off to a fine start.
Afterwards she continued her media blackout, which extended beyond print publications all the way to rights holders such as the BBC.
Had she spoken it would have been interesting to hear what she made of Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic champion of 2008 and 2012 who, at 32 and two years on from having a baby, is excelling in 2019. She jointly with Elaine Thompson holds the quickest time of the year with 10.73sec, but it was startling to see her obliterate her heat.
Asher-Smith will be looking over her shoulder at Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s heat results
The time was the quickest heat ever recorded in a heat at world or Olympic level and goes some way to addressing the defeat she suffered against Asher-Smith in the Diamond League final earlier this month. That win makes Asher-Smith a serious contender here, but there can be no doubting that Fraser-Pryce, with her dyed yellow hair, is the strong favourite.
Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast is also in the reckoning, having clocked 10.86sec to qualify second quickest for the heats. Her time and others would indicate it is a fast running surface on which records could fall over the coming days.
Elaine Thompson, the reigning Olympic champion across 100m and 200m, was sixth quickest in 11.14sec, one behind Britain’s Daryll Neita, who went through in a highly-impressive 11.12sec. It was a personal best for the 23-year-old, who has previously been better known for her relay contributions.
The Jamaican mother-of-two got through the heats at a blistering pace of 10.80 seconds
Neita said: ‘It feels really good to come out here in the first round and get a PB. I know what I’m capable of and this year I don’t think my times are reflecting where I am at.
‘So it’s nice to come here and get an idea. I’ve run a PB and I know I could have gone a lot faster. It was a good first run out but I’ve got a lot more to come.’ Imani Lansiquot progresses as a lucky loser in 11.31sec, while Asha Philip, another regular in the relay set-up, went out with a poor run of 11.35sec.
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