Tokyo Olympics: Beth Dobbin admits to being star-struck as she bows of 200m semi-final

BETH Dobbin felt out of her league in the next lane to Elaine Thompson-Herah but knows her Tokyo Olympic experience will equip her well.

Beth Dobbin: Doncaster sprinter reached the semi-finals of the 200m. (Picture: PA)

The Doncaster sprinter produced an equal season’s best to advance from Monday morning’s heats but struggled in her semi that evening, finishing fifth in 22.85.

Dobbin admits she had stars in her eyes running in the next lane to Olympic 100m champion Thompson-Herah and two across from world leader Gabrielle Thomas.

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“I don’t feel like I belong in that company if I’m honest!” said the 27-year-old.

Beth Dobbin, of Britain, Phil Healy, of Ireland, Crystal Emmanuel, of Canada, Elaine Thompson-Herah, of Jamaica and Imke Vervaet, of Belgium, from left, cross the line in a women's 200m first round heat at the 2020 Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

“It feels so bizarre. I do have to pinch myself every time I run with these girls, but I am getting more used to it.

“This year’s been the first year when I’ve been on the Diamond League circuit and it’s been really good to get that experience.

“This morning helped me a lot because it didn’t faze me I was running with Elaine. I’ve done it a few times now. These girls are my idols and I’m just living the dream.”

Dobbin’s 2019 personal best came at the London Stadium in a race with Thompson-Herah, proving she can produced the goods when pitted against the world’s best.

She actually ran quicker than the Jamaican in 36-degree morning heat, equalling the 22.78 season’s best she ran to win the European Team Championships in May. But producing the same and better eight hours later proved too much to ask for an athlete for whom the Games are just her second major global event.

“I would have liked slightly quicker after my heat felt really controlled and comfortable. I did come off the bend and my legs felt quite heavy,” said Dobbin.

“I don’t know if it’s the two rounds in a day that I’m not quite used to. It is the same for everyone, I just don’t have the experience to get through that.”

Dobbin has been named as part of Team GB’s 4x100m relay squad, due to compete in heats on Thursday.

The chance to train with Dina Asher-Smith - subject to fitness - and 100m Olympic finalist Darryl Neita in the relay pool has enthused the Yorkshire star.

“I’m really new to the team so I’m very inexperienced compared to the girls,” she said.

“Ashleigh (Nelson) made her first Olympics in 2008. It’s just experience for me and learning.

“If I get to run that’s great, but if not, it’s been a good learning process. We’ve had some really good camps out here and the girls have all been great to me.”

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