The feat: She is currently the world’s fastest junior athlete over both the 100 and 200 metres and has already won European under 20 titles as well as a global bronze medal in the senior ranks. At the moment, Dina Asher-Smith is the girl to beat on the track.
In June, the 18-year-old Blackheath and Bromley AC sprinter clocked 22.74 seconds over 200m, the fastest time in Britain since August 2009. It made her the eighth fastest British woman over the distance of all time. Asher-Smith is now going into the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, this month as the red-hot favourite over both sprint distances.
Seven reasons why Dina Asher-Smith is a winner – on and off the track
1. Asher-Smith may be the eighth fastest Brit ever, but five of the quicker times were recorded even before she was born! This makes her the third fastest female British 200m sprinter of the last 20 years.
2. What many don’t know: Dina was a box carrier on Super Saturday during the London 2012 Olympics, when Jess Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford collected gold medals for Team GB within minutes of each other.
She recalled: “Just a few metres from the track, we were completely swept up with the euphoria of the crowds and of course the victorious athletes. The atmosphere was really indescribable in the stadium that night and I was so fortunate to be there.”
3. Dina won a European U20 title in the 200m as well as the 4x100m relay in Rieti last year, before winning bronze at the World Championships in Moscow with the British senior 4x100m relay.
4. Her talent hasn’t gone unnoticed with the big guys in the business. She is now represented by the same agent as Usain Bolt. Mind you, Bolt only won one world junior title in his time…
5. Despite her previous success, Dina is looking at the World Juniors without too high expectations. “I'm going to take the competition round by round, focus on qualification, and make sure that I perform to the very best of my ability. Hopefully that should leave me in a good position.”
6. Outside of the sport, she is planning to study history at university. “Whenever I tell someone they always pull a face and say ‘History? Really? I thought you'd be doing something sporty.’”
7. And Dina isn’t just a talented sprinter. Did you know she used to play the euphonium?
Asher-Smith is a BT Action Woman Awards contender for June. Click here to see the rest of our Action Women.
By Michelle Sammet