World Athletics Championships: Dina Asher-Smith sets the best time in the 100-meter dash
|Venue: Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon Events: 15-24 July|
|Cover: 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 setting fastest time in women’s 100 meters at World Athletics Championships.
Asher-Smith, the world 200m champion, reached the semifinals in Eugene, Oregon in 10.84 seconds – the second fastest time of her career.
Brit Daryll Neita also qualified for the next round with a season best of 10.95.
Olympic silver medalist Laura Muir later stormed into the 1500m final.
Chasing her first World Championship podium, the Scot finished a comfortable second in her semi-final at Hayward Field with a season 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 placed 11th.
“High standards” for Asher-Smith
Asher-Smith won three medals at the 2019 World Championships in Doha but was heartbroken at last year’s Tokyo Olympics after missing the 100m final and retiring from the 200m with a hamstring injury .
But she showed on Saturday that she’s back at her best, her time in the 100 meters was a season’s best and just a hundredth of a second shy of the personal best she set when she won world silver three years ago.
That 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 ahead of Sunday’s semifinals and final.
“Obviously I come here as the reigning world champion and world silver medalist so expectations are high for me,” Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.
“I knew I had been waiting all season to reach my peak. I’m happy, I still have something to give, but I was happy that I got the essential things done today.
“I honestly didn’t expect it, but at the end of the day we want to go faster, so I’m excited.”
Neita, who beat Asher-Smith for the 100m title at the British Championships in June, finished second in her run to Fraser-Pryce in a best time of a season.
“[I’m] Super happy, it’s always great to get the first lap over and just get a feel for the track and the atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow,” she said.
“I feel ready for these championships, me and my coach have put me in great shape so I can really challenge here and I think this opening round shows that.”
In the men’s 100m, Zharnel Hughes missed out on a place in the final after an early stumble in the semifinals, 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 promising as she made it through to the 1500m final with ease.
She finished the semi-final, which was the fastest of the two, 0.5 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay – the 2019 world bronze medalist.
“I’m really happy with it, I didn’t think that was 4:01, it felt easier so that’s a good sign,” Muir, 29, told BBC Sport.
“This is my fifth World Championship and my fifth World Final [across both 1500m and 5,000m], hopefully it’s the fifth time I’ve been lucky enough to get on this podium. I haven’t won any medals at the World Championships.”
British teammate Katie Snowden was unable to follow her into the final, finishing 10th in her semi-final, while Adelle Tracey – who recently moved to Jamaica from Great Britain – finished eighth in the same race.
In the men’s 1500m, the British trio of Josh Kerr, Jake Wightman and Neil Gourley all made it to the semifinals, with Olympic bronze medalist Kerr winning his heat.
Gourley revealed he was close to retiring the week after contracting Covid but tested negative on Friday just in time for the competition.
McColgan ‘disappointed’ after 10,000m final
McColgan had pushed into second place behind Ririka Hironaka in the early stages of the 10,000m final and took the lead when the Japanese runner slowed about halfway.
However, the Scot fell behind with seven laps to go and struggled to hold onto the lead group.
She finished 10th in a time of 30 minutes 34.6 seconds, with Judd a place behind with a personal best of 30 minutes 35.93 seconds.
“I found it tough. I’m disappointed,” McColgan told BBC Sport. “I probably came into it in the shape of my life but the last four weeks have been so disruptive.
“I caught an illness and then I whined a bit. I think the goal is there, but when these girls turned on the gear, I just didn’t have it.
“It didn’t feel as comfortable as I would have liked.
“I was a little unsure if I would make it to the start, so it’s great to be here and hopefully I can prepare for the 5,000m.”
Judd said, “To run that time, I honestly couldn’t believe it. I thought I had one more lap to go.”
Aimee Pratt reached the 3,000m steeplechase final and set a new British record of nine minutes and 18.91 seconds in the heats.
Joshua Zeller was the fastest of the British men’s 110m hurdles when he made it to the semi-finals on a 13.41 run, with compatriots Andrew Pozzi (13.45) and David King (13.57) also progressing.
Britain’s Morgan Lake was due to compete in the women’s high jump but was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after testing positive for Covid.
“I’ve spent five days in isolation, I’m asymptomatic but unfortunately still tested positive,” the 25-year-old wrote on social media.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken to be watching from my hotel room and while I’m grateful to be 100% okay, it’s even more frustrating to know that I’m physically ready to compete but can’t .
“If you’re very careful (avoiding crowds, wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, etc.) it’s even more disappointing to have picked this up in a ‘bubble’ of a holding camp.”