A few years ago, your favorite editor of RunBlogRun spent a few relaxed minutes with Dina Asher-Smith. She was gracious and relaxed, and just really seemed to enjoy the sport. She seems that way still today, and we shall see how things change, now that she is one of the finest sprinters in the world.
Stuart Weir wrote this fine piece about the triple gold medalist, who is also a class act.
Dina Asher-Smith – girl next door to world lead.
What more is there to say about Dina Asher-Smith that has not already been said? Winner of the European 100m and 200m titles setting two British records and two world leads, not to mention and epic last leg of the 4 by 100w relay to gain a victory and a third gold medal.
As Jon Mulkeen of the IAAF pointed out: Just 17 women in history have bettered 10.90 for 100m and 21.90 for 200m. At 22 years of age, Dina is the youngest of all of those. She is also is now the 8th fastest European of all time behind Irina Privalova and pushing Katrin Krabbe down a place! Dina’s own tweet, says it all really: “21.89!! 10.85!!!! Double European Champion!!! Two World leading times!!!!!!!! Wow oh wow oh wow!!!”
There are two reasons why she is where she is this year – about from hard work and talent. This is her first year as a full-time athlete, having graduated in History at King’s College London last summer. She is no longer trying to balance studies and training. She has also been fit all year.
She was fourth in the 200m in the World Championship last year, despite breaking her foot in the spring, spending weeks in rehab which she should have been spending in training and racing. With British understatement, she described the 2017 rehab as “a very intense year as well as graduating at Uni”. She described 2017 as “pushing, pushing, effectively since September 2016 pushing into indoors, Uni, exams, dissertation, rehab, pushing, pushing, pushing, having to find form, into outdoor, into worlds, Phew! It’s over. I’m tired”.
She also feels that she can take strength from the experience: “I keep saying, ‘Going through this, a broken foot and having to graduate Uni at the same time was mentally and physically the biggest test I have had to go through’ Breaking a foot, turning it around, going to World Champs 6 months later is pretty unheard of. I hope I don’t have that again but even if I do, I know it is possible.
As she mentioned her University dissertation, RunBlogRun can reveal which aspect of academic history she studied: American jazz music. She explains: “I did commercial image and agency concentrating on Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. It was really interesting. I didn’t have a specific interest in jazz. I have an interest in American media and doing that through jazz music turned out to be so interesting. I loved every second of it. So many of the songs I did not realize were written by certain people. Some of these songs are so good”.