Dina Asher-Smith looks forward to a tough test in Qatar
Dina Asher-Smith is relishing the opportunity to compete in a field featuring reigning world 200 metres champion Shericka Jackson when the Diamond League begins in Doha on Friday.
Asher-Smith will line up in a 100m field featuring some of the world’s best during the opener in Qatar, after improving her British 60m record in an unbeaten indoor season.
The 27-year-old took her time to 7.03 seconds ahead of competing in Doha.
“I’m very much a competitor so I love challenging races,” said Asher-Smith. “I don’t think you improve without running against the best in the world.
“There are so many women in the sprints running fantastic times.
“Almost every Diamond League for the past three or four seasons has been super-fast with loads of depth in each race. I’m very much used to it.”
Asher-Smith became the first British woman to win a major global sprint title when she won in the 200m in Doha in 2019.
There is the prospect in Qatar of elite athletes facing off in one-on-one races.
The men’s world 100m champion Fred Kerley has said on social media that he hopes to get the chance to go up against Olympic gold medallist Lamont Marcell Jacobs.
Asked who she would like to face given the opportunity, Asher-Smith said Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce would be her ideal opponent.
She was runner-up to the Jamaican over 100m at the 2019 World Championship.
“I really like racing Shelly,” she said. ”She is an incredible athlete and an incredible competitor.
“I really enjoy racing against her, mainly because I really like her race model compared to mine. It’s like a training exercise.”