Dina Asher-Smith knows that her last two years of work are on the line as she prepares for the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
The British athlete is the 100m Diamond League winner, and will challenge for gold in the 200m event too. She will compete in Britain’s 4x100m women’s relay team too, meaning she could complete a triple-medal haul.
The 23-year-old sprinter told the Guardian that she has been preparing for the World Championships since 2017.
“My coach John Blackie has been putting me through my paces for a very long time to prepare for this,” she explained.
“When we came off London 2017 and went into training for 2018, that was when we made the decision that I was going to double up and that is the time period you need to build up the strength to be able to put together six elite standard sprint races in a championships.”
Asher-Smith holds a 10.85s British record for the 100m set in the 2018 European championships in Berlin, which won her a gold medal, as did the 21.89 in the competitions 200m event.
“We have been preparing for a very, very long time. It has been painful. John has been testing me. When he tells me: ‘You are doing this today,” I am like: ‘What?’
“But we have been preparing and that is why the decision to double up isn’t one that I have taken lightly, it’s not a flippant decision.”
Despite her chances in both events, Asher-Smith is reluctant to put too much pressure on herself.
She told the paper she did not perceive the expectation as a burden, saying: “Weirdly enough I don’t and I think that is because I tune out of social media. We have been very clear, John and I, about what my aims are for this season. And we don’t really publicly disclose that until afterwards and that is done deliberately to control expectation.
“There definitely is a little bit of expectation but it is something that is nice and something that is refreshing as a British female sprinter – we expect you to do X, Y and Z.”
That did not stop her ramping up the pressure on her rivals though, asking: “The world championships is going to be the first time where we see everybody with nowhere to hide this year. There’s no ‘I wasn’t ready for this, I wasn’t ready for this’, because if you are not ready for the world championships, when are you ready?”
Source: Alexander Netherton