World champion Dina Asher-Smith runs into elite company in Doha

Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith celebrates winning the Women's 200m final.
Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith celebrates winning the Women's 200m final.
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Dina Asher-Smith admitted her historic gold medal has been two years in the making after she stormed to 200m victory at the World Championships.

The 23-year-old became the first British woman to win an individual world sprint title.

She clocked 21.88 seconds to set a new national record and is also just the seventh British woman to claim world individual gold.

Asher-Smith came fourth in the 200m in London two years ago after battling back from a broken foot and revealed she and coach John Blackie have been preparing ever since.

“When I came fourth by a 10th of a second and almost did it he looked at me and said, ‘the next one is going to be yours’,” said Asher-Smith, who also won 100m silver in Doha on Sunday.

“I said, ‘we have to work towards it, we have to make sure that when I stand on the line in two years’ time I’m in a position to do that’.

“It means so much to have done that in the 200m but to have gone well in the 100m, an event I have not run at this level before, to be up there with the best women in the world means so much to me.”

Asher-Smith also admitted she has already turned her attention to next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

She added: “The Olympics is less than a year away, we have already been thinking about it. I don’t think there’s any time we’re not thinking about the Olympics.

“Doing well in Doha was part of the plan and in thinking about Doha you’re thinking about the Olympics as well.”

She joins Fatima Whitbread, Liz McColgan, Sally Gunnell, Paula Radcliffe, Christine Ohuruogu and Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis-Hill in having won individual world gold for Great Britain.

Earlier, Laura Muir safely qualified for today’s 1500m semi-final after her return from injury.

The 26-year-old was running her first competitive race since tearing a calf muscle at the Anniversary Games in London in July.

On her fitness Muir added: “It was a pretty good feeling, I was quite nervous before the race.

“I’m usually not for the heats but it’s just been so long and it’s so good to be out there, feel like myself and be like, ‘oh, I can still run’.”

Sarah McDonald joined her in the final but there was disappointment for Tim Duckworth who pulled out of the decathlon after an injury in the warm-up.

Reigning World Indoor 60m champion Andy Pozzi failed to progress to the 110m hurdles final but Eilish McColgan and Laura Weightman reached the 5000m final.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is daring to dream of a heptathlon gold medal after an impressive first day.

The 26-year-old has 4,138 points and the overnight lead following the opening four events at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

She holds a 96-point advantage over Olympic and defending champion Nafi Thiam.

The pair remain a class above the rest of the field, with the United States’ Kendell Williams in third, 187 points behind Thiam. And Johnson-Thompson will allow herself to dream of victory overnight.

She said: “Why not? It’s something that I’m aiming to do. It’s something I’m in shape to do and I’m in a very good position to do it. But you never know with these things on day two. I’ve worked very hard on my day two so we’ll see what happens.

“Apart from the 200m it was a great day. It’s just the halfway point, another day to negotiate tomorrow but I’m in a good position.”