Dina Asher-Smith ready to move on from ‘really challenging’ year
Dina Asher-Smith insists she has moved on from her year of heartbreak after setting a new British 60m record.
The 27-year-old beat Daryll Neita into second at the World Indoor Tour on Saturday.
Asher-Smith broke her own British 60m record in the heats when she ran 7.03 seconds and clocked 7.05secs in the final.
Too good ✅Too fast ✅@dinaashersmith 🌬️ races to the 60m title at the #WorldIndoorTour final#WhereItStarts pic.twitter.com/dY3Qq7UTR3
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) February 25, 2023
It came after last year’s frustration and heartache. She lost her grandmother, Sislyn, before the World Championships and went on to finish fourth in the 100m and third in the 200m in Eugene before a hamstring injury dashed Great Britain’s relay chances and forced her to miss the Commonwealth Games.
She then pulled up with cramp in the 100m final at the European Championships, leaving her unable to defend her title, although she did win 200m silver.
“I understand how it looks publicly. Normally we do well to separate track life and our personal life, but sometimes things are so big, you can’t help the response,” said Asher-Smith.
“It was a really challenging year for me in 2022 but – and I know this sounds crazy – it was not really physical. It was more as a human being.
“We’re all humans, we all have the ups and downs of adult life and that’s just it really. So all I’m hoping for now is easy – no major life events for like the next two years and that’ll be great.
“But I’m happy and I’m just really excited for the outdoors. I’m really excited to go into training. I’ve got a few days off now then we’re going to get ready for 100m and 200m.”
Neita ran 7.13 in the final to come behind Asher-Smith but is the favourite for the 60m title at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, which start on Thursday, with her compatriot not competing.
She said: “Indoors for me was just about sharpening up my 60m and I just want to get closer to having a good acceleration in my 100m race. So I’m really excited and I think it’s looking good heading outdoors.”
Laura Muir missed out on Maria Mutola’s 1,000m world record – exactly 24 years after it was set.
British record…by 0.02! 🤏
Keely Hodgkinson wins over 800m in Birmingham in a world leading time and British record of 1:57.18! ⏱
📍 Next stop: #Istanbul2023! 🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/uSvJYASQXB
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) February 25, 2023
The 29-year-old ran 2:34.53 to win the race but fell short of one of her main targets in 2023.
She said: “I was going to go for it regardless and I feel like I’m in the shape to run the sort of time, it’s getting that perfect and it’s so hard to get right.”
Keely Hodgkinson broke her own British 800m indoor record, which she also set in Birmingham last year, but revealed her frustration at not setting a new world record after running 1:57.18.
The 20-year-old said: “I’ve had time to calm down. It’s a British record so I can’t complain, but you know when you are capable of so much more. I’m a bit gutted. I felt I was on pace but in the last 50m it got away from me.”
In the men’s 60m Adam Gemili came second behind Charles Dobson after two false starts disqualified Jeremiah Azu, Ojie Edoburun and Richard Akinyebo.
Josh Kerr, who won Olympic bronze in Tokyo, came fifth in the 1500m, which was won by Neil Gourley in a British record of 3:32.48.