World Athletics Championships: Dina Asher-Smith sets fastest time in 100m heats

World Athletics Championships: Dina Asher-Smith sets fastest time in 100m heats

Venue: Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon Dates: 15-24 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and mobile app (UK only)

Dina Asher-Smith says she has “more to give” after she set the fastest time in the women’s 100m heats at the World Athletics Championships.

Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion, progressed to the semi-finals in Eugene, Oregon, in 10.84 seconds – the second quickest time of her career.

Fellow Briton Daryll Neita also qualified for the next round with a season’s best of 10.95.

Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir later breezed into the 1500m final.

Chasing her first World Championship podium, the Scot was a comfortable second in her semi-final at Hayward Field with a season’s best of four minutes 01.78 seconds.

Earlier on day two of the championships, Eilish McColgan placed 10th in the women’s 10,000m final while Jess Judd was 11th.

‘Aspirations high’ for Asher-Smith

Asher-Smith won three medals at the 2019 World Championships in Doha but was left heartbroken at last year’s Olympics in Tokyo after missing out on the 100m final and pulling out of the 200m with a hamstring injury.

But she showed she is back to her best on Saturday, her time in the 100m heats a season’s best and just one hundredth of a second off the personal best she set when she won world silver three years ago.

It put the 26-year-old ahead of Jamaica’s four-time 100m world champion and world leader Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the overall results heading into Sunday’s semi-finals and final.

“Obviously I’m coming here as a reigning world champion and world silver medallist so clearly the aspirations are high for me,” Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.

“I knew that I’d been waiting all season to peak for this. I’m happy, I’ve got some more to give, but I was happy that I nailed the essential bits today.

“I honestly did not expect that time, but at the end of the day, we’re looking to go faster so I’m excited.”

Neita, who beat Asher-Smith to the 100m title at the UK Championships in June, finished second in her heat behind Fraser-Pryce in a season’s best time.

“[I’m] super happy, it’s always great to get the first round out of the way and just get a feel of the track and the atmosphere. I’m feeling really excited for tomorrow,” she said.

“I feel like I’m ready for this championships, me and my coach have got me into great shape, so I can really challenge here and I think that opening round shows that.”

In the men’s 100m, Zharnel Hughes missed out on a place in the final after an early stumble in his semi-final, finishing third behind eventual champion Fred Kerley and 2019 winner Christian Coleman.

Fifth time lucky for Muir?

Muir won her first major outdoor medal at the Olympics 11 months ago and looked in promising form as she progressed into the 1500m final with ease.

She finished 0.5 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay – the 2019 world bronze medallist – in their semi-final, which was the quickest of the two.

“I’m really happy with that, I didn’t think that was 4:01, it felt easier than that, so that’s a good sign,” Muir, 29, told BBC Sport.

“This is my fifth World Championships, and my fifth world final [across both 1500m and 5,000m], hopefully it’s fifth time lucky for getting on that podium. I’ve not medalled yet at the worlds.”

British team-mate Katie Snowden could not follow her into the final, placing 10th in her semi-final, while Adelle Tracey – who recently switched allegiance from Great Britain to Jamaica – was eighth in the same race.

In the men’s 1500m, British trio Josh Kerr, Jake Wightman and Neil Gourley all progressed to the semi-finals, with Olympic bronze medallist Kerr winning his heat.

Gourley revealed he had come close to withdrawing in the week after being ill with Covid, but tested negative on Friday just in time to compete.

McColgan ‘disappointed’ after 10,000m final

McColgan had slotted herself into second place behind Ririka Hironaka in the early stages of the 10,000m final and moved into the lead when the Japanese runner slowed at about the halfway mark.

However, the Scot dropped down the field with seven laps to go and was struggling to hang on to the leading group.

She placed 10th in a time of 30 minutes 34.6 seconds, with Judd one spot behind with a personal best of 30 minutes 35.93 seconds.

“I found it tough. I’m disappointed,” McColgan told BBC Sport. “I came into this probably in the shape of my life but the last four weeks have been so disruptive.

“I picked up an illness and then a bit of a niggle. I think the finish is there but when those girls switched on the gear I just didn’t have it.

“It didn’t feel as comfortable as I wished it had.

“I was a little bit unsure I’d make the start line so to be here is great and, hopefully, I can get myself ready for the 5,000m.”

Judd said: “To run that time, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I thought I had another lap to go.”

Aimee Pratt reached the 3,000m steeplechase final, setting a new British record of nine minutes 18.91 seconds in the heats.

Joshua Zeller was the fastest of the British men in the 110m hurdles as he made it into the semi-finals after a run of 13.41, with compatriots Andrew Pozzi (13.45) and David King (13.57) also progressing.

Britain’s Morgan Lake was scheduled to take part in the women’s high jump but has been forced to withdraw from the World Championships after she tested positive for Covid.

“I’ve spent five days in isolation, I’m asymptomatic but sadly still testing positive,” the 25-year-old wrote on social media.

“Absolutely heartbroken to have to watch from my hotel room and whilst I’m grateful to be feeling 100% fine, it’s even more frustrating to know that I am physically ready to compete but can’t.

“Being super careful (avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, hand sanitising etc) it’s even more disappointing to have picked this up in a holding camp ‘bubble’.”

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