Image: filip bossuyt / WIkimedia Commons
Image: filip bossuyt / WIkimedia Commons

Tokyo 2020: Dina Asher-Smith into 100m semi-finals

Team GB poster-girl Dina Asher-Smith began her bid to become the first British woman to win an Olympic individual sprint gold after routine progress in the 100m heats.

In her heat, Asher-Smith set a time of 11.07 seconds, beaten by American Teahna Daniels, who ran 11.04 seconds.

It was the first time in 13 races in 2021 across 100m and 200m that she did not emerge victorious.

Overall, she qualified for the semi-finals in 11th place, with the pace set by Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou in 10.78 seconds.

Asher-Smith is the fastest British woman in history, reigning world champion at 200m, a four-time European champion and an Olympic bronze medallist from the 4x100m relay in Rio.

But she is up against Jamaican duo Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, who between them have won the past three Olympic 100m titles.

Asher-Smith, who is also team captain of the British athletics squad, said: “It felt good to be out here and to finally get going. It’s just great to finally get my Olympics underway. The track is fast. But I really wasn’t thinking about things like that.

“I was just thinking about making it through to the next round safely at the same time as knowing I’ve got another level to give tomorrow so I am really happy. And I do have another level – of course I do, it’s an Olympics.

“I have to say obviously as an athlete you love a full stadium, you love spectators but at the same time it is what it is and you’ve still got the job to do.”

Asher-Smith’s teammates Daryll Neita and Asha Philip also finished second in their heats to qualify for the semi-finals on Saturday, while British trio Jemma Reekie, Keely Hodgkinson and Alex Bell are safely through to the semi-finals of the women’s 800m.

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