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Asher-Smith tipped to defy the times and beat rivals to sprint gold


D

ina Asher-Smith may have been off the pace of her American and Jamaican rivals in 2021 but has been backed to be the golden girl of Team GB in Tokyo.

This season, Asher-Smith is only the ninth quickest woman over 200m, the event in which she is world champion, more than half-a-second behind the fastest time globally in 2021 set by American Gabrielle Thomas.

And she is similarly ranked in the 100m, suggesting she has a hard task ahead of her to reel in the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, whose best of 10.63s is two-tenths-of-a-second quicker than anything Asher-Smith has ever run.

But fellow sprinter CJ Ujah said he fully expected his Team GB teammate to deliver in the two sprint events when the Games get under way.

The former sprint relay world champion said: “Dina is an incredible athlete. Even if the odds are against her she knows how to bring her form in.

“She’s here and I believe she’s here for a reason, to win a gold medal and I’m sure she’ll challenge for that. She’ll be right up there. She really doesn’t not perform at championships. I’m sure she’ll perform her best.”


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