Dina Asher-Smith was Britain’s best athletics medal hope – Linford Christie

Linford Christie speaks at an Olympics event in Westfield on Saturday (PA)
19:48pm, Sat 31 Jul 2021
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Dina Asher-Smith was Britain’s “best medal hope” in the athletics at the Tokyo Olympics former British sprinter Linford Christie has said.

The former Olympian, who won two silver medals and a gold in the 1988 and 1992 Games respectively, said it was “really sad” and “a shame” that Asher-Smith was forced to pull out of the 200m at this year’s Games.

The 25-year-old was tipped to become the first British woman to take an individual sprint medal since Dorothy Hyman in 1960.

But she failed to reach the 100m final in Tokyo after finishing third in her semi-final and later said she tore her hamstring five weeks ago.

Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith pulled out of the 200m after a hamstring injury (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Speaking exclusively to the PA news agency at an Olympics event at Westfield in west London, Christie said the fitter athletes are, the more likely they are to get injured.

He told PA: “Dina was our best medal hope, men or women. We’ve got Zharnel Hughes, so it’s possible something could happen there, but you know I think if you asked who the medal favourite is, Dina was it, so now we’ve just got to try and salvage as much as we possibly can and see where it goes.

“It’s a shame, you know it’s really sad. These things happen. You train for years and it’s normally the last run as well when you’re in really good shape.

Linford Christie pictured at the 1992 Games in Barcelona (John Stillwell/PA) (PA Archive)

“The worst thing about it is the fitter you are, the more likely you are to get into. In a way it shows that she was in pretty good shape.”

Christie added that he saw the emotional interview she gave live on television, when she broke down in tears after confirming she would have to pull out.

“She’s young, she’s got the next one in three years’ time, so you’ve just got to get ready, got to put it behind you and get ready for three years,” he added.

“It’s just part and parcel of what we do, we just got to keep moving on.”

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