Dina Asher-Smith pulls out of 200 metres after failing to qualify for sprint final

·3 min read

Dina Asher-Smith’s hopes of individual Olympic glory are over after heartbreak in the 100 metres semi-final prompted her to withdraw from the 200 metres competition.

The Londoner had been tipped to become the first British woman to take an individual sprint medal since Dorothy Hyman in 1960.

But she could only manage third in her semi-final to crash out in Tokyo, before revealing the hamstring injury she suffered last month had badly hampered her preparations.

Though she will not continue in the individual events, the 25-year-old indicated she intended to race in the 4 x 100 metre relay next week.

.“I think I am likely to pull out of the 200,” a tearful Asher-Smith told BBC Radio 5. “I am going to pull out. John (Blackie) has told me it’s a no.”

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Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion, had withdrawn from the British Grand Prix in Gateshead earlier this month with a hamstring injury.

She said in her build-up to the Games that her hamstring had been “grumpy” but insisted she was fully fit – though the reality was otherwise.

“Obviously I am so disappointed not to make the final,” she added. “It’s everything I have trained for for the last two years.

“The last two weeks of my life have been absolutely insane. I wanted to come and be completely up front with everyone on my form.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Day Eight
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (centre) struggles during the women’s 100 metres semi-finals.

“I tore (the hamstring) pretty bad (at the trials). I was told it would take surgery and would take three to four months to get back.

“I went and got a second opinion – and it was a slight misdiagnosis. It wasn’t a rupture. My hamstring was still attached. I went from, ‘Oh I can’t go’ to ‘maybe I can’.”

But though Asher-Smith did make it to Tokyo, she was unconvincing in the heats and qualified joint 11th fastest after running 11.07secs.

Though she promised after that she had more to come, she only managed 11.05secs in the semi-final, not enough for one of the fastest loser’s spots – though Daryll Neita did claim one to ensure there will be a Briton on the start line.

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“Obviously I was not my normal self (today),” Asher-Smith added

“I was in really good shape (before the trials), the shape of my life. I felt I was going to win this. But I had the low of being told ‘it’s impossible for you to be there’ and then ‘there’s a chance’.

“It has been a journey. I am so proud to come out here and run 11 seconds off a few weeks training.

“There are plenty more championship for me to come and kill. It doesn’t change the calibre of athlete that I am. It’s an Olympics but there is another one.”

Neita clocked a time of 11 seconds flat to claim one of the fastest losers’ spots that had eluded Asher-Smith, but Asha Philip came eighth in the second heat and did not progress to the final.

Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce qualified fastest in a time of 10.73s.

Earlier in the day the event was rocked by the suspension of Blessing Okagbare after she failed a drugs test.

The Nigerian was due to run against Asher-Smith in the first semi but was sanctioned by the Athletics Integrity Unit having tested positive for Human Growth Hormone.

Okagbare had been expected to challenge for a medal.

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