World Athletics Championships: ‘Dina’s bronze might be as satisfying as Doha gold’

Read Time:5 Minute, 55 Second

Michael Johnson

Venue: Hayward Discipline, Eugene, Oregon Dates: 15-24 July
Protection: Watch stay on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport web site and cell app (UK solely)

The time was slower, she completed decrease on the rostrum, however for Dina Asher-Smith this 200m bronze medal in all probability introduced as a lot satisfaction as her gold from Doha three years in the past.

This time, the calibre of the competitors she was stepping into was a lot increased.

Earlier than she arrived in Eugene, her greatest 200m time of 2022 was 22.27 seconds. She was 18th quickest on the planet.

She knew that Shericka Jackson, who in the end received gold within the second-fastest time in historical past, was in such good type.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who ended up with silver, was getting stronger.

However Abby Steiner, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Tamara Clark and Mujinga Kambundji, amongst others, had all run quicker than she had.

The expectation was so completely different to 2019, when she got here into the ultimate as a giant favorite.

However Dina managed to boost her recreation by means of the rounds, compete arduous and declare a medal. That confirmed actual character.

She revealed after the race that she had been struggling off the observe with the demise of her grandmother.

That’s the form of factor that may make acting at a excessive stage arduous. In my day, the general public would not see these issues or find out about them.

Maybe it was a worry that if you happen to made these private issues public, you’d be giving your rivals ammunition or displaying weak point.

Issues have modified. Social media has ushered in a brand new tradition of sharing issues past your fast circle.

For viewers, you get to seek out out extra concerning the particular person behind the athlete. However it poses new challenges for athletes. They need to discover ways to steadiness managing their public picture and sharing extra of their private struggles with doing what it takes to realize their athletic targets.

After I was racing I skilled private and emotional life points as all of us do. My grandparents died throughout my profession, however I stored it behind the scenes.

However not sharing it, as a result of it wasn’t widespread to take action, in some methods made issues easier.

Noah Lyles could be very a lot a part of the fashionable technology. He has talked about how he needed to take care of despair, attention-deficit dysfunction and dyslexia throughout his life and profession.

However, at 25, he appears to have discovered a solution to be at his greatest. His profitable defence of his 200m world title got here in a time of 19.31 seconds. It was 0.19 seconds quicker than he has ever gone earlier than and made him the third quickest man in historical past.

He’s a showman out on the observe. You would see that in his celebrations, but in addition earlier than the race began as he interacted with the group.

It might be that it impacts his rivals. Teenager Erriyon Knighton was wanting his greatest within the remaining, ending third.

However I do not assume they’re thoughts video games. It’s how Noah enjoys athletics – it makes him pleased, assured and relaxed.

It was the identical with Usain Bolt. He as soon as advised me that he might by no means have approached races like I did, ultra-focused as quickly as I stepped on the observe. Usain mentioned that he would have gotten too nervous and tight if he had approached issues like that.

I believe Noah has an actual likelihood of breaking Bolt’s world document of 19.19 seconds over the following few years. He’s nonetheless younger and the best way he attacked the opening 100 metres tonight and ran the bend was like nothing now we have seen from him earlier than.

He broke my US document of 19.32 seconds to take gold. I had a fast chat with him afterwards and I do not assume it means an excessive amount of to both of us to be trustworthy.

In the USA, significantly within the sprints, the emphasis is extra on world data as a result of the American document is usually just about the identical.

I’ve seen my 200m world document damaged by Bolt, and South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk took my 400m world document at Rio 2016.

However I at all times noticed data as a goal to work in the direction of and attempt for, slightly than one thing to carry on to when you had bought them.

That’s how Noah might be taking a look at Bolt’s world document now.

It may not be subsequent yr. I believe in 2023, having already received 200m world gold twice, he may need one other go at doubling up and mixing with the 100m as he tried, much less efficiently, in 2021.

However in 2024, with that lacking Olympic gold to go for, I might think about him refocusing again solely on 200m.

That might be the second for one thing monumental.

Michael Johnson was talking to BBC Sport’s Mike Henson

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