The GB sprinter who's getting faster and faster - just in time for the Athletics World Championships

Dina Asher-Smith ran a season best time of 10.88 seconds in the 100m in Brussels this month (PA Images)
Dina Asher-Smith ran a season best time of 10.88 seconds in the 100m in Brussels this month (PA Images)
17:42pm, Mon 23 Sep 2019
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As the clock ticks down to the start of the World Athletics Championships in Doha on Friday, 72 athletes will be flying the flag for Britain - but the biggest burden of expectation rests on one set of shoulders, those belonging to Dina Asher-Smith.                                           

The 23-year-old won three gold medals at the European Championships last year in the 100, 200 and 4x100 metre relay to become a household name and golden girl of track athletics.

Now comes her ultimate test on the world stage, but how difficult will it be to convert European into world success? Here we look at her chances of glory in Doha.

Asher-Smith’s improvement is consistent

Asher-Smith will compete in the 100 and 200 metres individually during the championships, and looking at her record over the years, her pace in these events has been getting faster and faster.

There have been occasional difficulties such as a hamstring injury suffered at the European Championships in 2014, or breaking her foot in 2017, but the general trend in her career has shown she's getting faster.

It is clear that she has been more consistent in the shorter distance and as the chart below shows, she has improved her best time by 2.55 seconds in 10 years.

Asher-Smith's 100m time has kept improving over the years since 2009

In the last few years, she has been able to pace herself to peak at the right time in an event, as highlighted by her career best times of 10.85 seconds in the 100 metres and 21.89 seconds in the 200 metres at the European Championship finals.

Since 2018, Asher-Smith has only performed better once in a heat or a semi-final compared to a final of a 100 metres, compared to her doing it twice in the space of three events in 2017.

The world stage is difficult to conquer though

The British sprinter will be regarded among the favourites going into both events, but as history suggests, it is often difficult for a European champion to become a world champion.

Marlies Gohr was able to translate her 100 metre gold medal from the 1982 European Championships in Athens to a gold in the first ever IAAF World Championships in 1983. Since then, no 100 metre winner at a European Championships has won a gold at the next World Championships.

Dafne Schippers got closest, as she won a silver in 2015, but it just highlights how history is against Asher-Smith, even if form is not.

The picture is a little better in the 200 metres, as Katrin Krabbe and Schippers have won a gold having won it in the preceding European event, but they are the only two.

Asher-Smith therefore, has a huge task on her hands if she wants to make history of her own.

How her rivals are performing in 2019

Schippers is the two-time defending champion in the 200 metres, but her best time of 2019 in the distance is almost four-tenths of a second slower than Asher-Smith.

When looking at the key rivals for Asher-Smith in the 200 metres, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson has the best time of 22 seconds.

Asher-Smith is well placed in the 200m, despite not having the world leading time this season

But, as previously stated, Asher-Smith does make a habit of peaking at the right time. She just hit her season-best time in the 100 metres earlier this month in Brussels and it could be that the best is yet to come.

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