Belfast Telegraph

Asher-Smith seals historic gold glory

 

Golden girl: Dina Asher-Smith celebrates her success
Golden girl: Dina Asher-Smith celebrates her success
Ciara Mageean

By Nick Mashiter and Brian Hill

Dina Asher-Smith clinched an historic gold medal after powering to 200m victory at the World Championships.

The 23-year-old became the first British woman to win an individual world sprint title.

She clocked 21.88 seconds to set a new national record and is also just the seventh British woman to claim world gold.

She joins Fatima Whitbread, Liz McColgan, Sally Gunnell, Paula Radcliffe, Christine Ohuruogu and Jessica Ennis-Hill in having won individual world gold for Great Britain.

Earlier, Laura Muir safely qualified for today's 1,500m semi-final after her return from injury.

The 26-year-old was running her first competitive race since tearing a calf muscle at the Anniversary Games in London in July.

The Netherlands' Sifan Hassan qualified fastest, and she is coached by Alberto Salazar.

The American was given a four-year ban on Tuesday by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after being found guilty of doping violations.

Salazar runs the Nike Oregon Project and was stripped of his accreditation so could not have any contact with his athletes but Muir chose to ignore the controversy.

"All I can do is focus on myself, that's all I'm in control of. I love the sport for what it is, I love to run and compete," she said.

"No matter what the circumstances I'm going to race. Whoever is there is up to other people.

"At this point all I can do is focus on myself, that's all I'm in control of. I'm the only person I can speak for and vouch for."

On her fitness, Muir added: "It was a pretty good feeling, I was quite nervous before the race.

"I'm usually not for the heats but it's been so long and it's so good to be out there, feel like myself and be like 'I can still run'."

Sarah McDonald joined her in the final but there was disappointment for Tim Duckworth, who pulled out of the decathlon after an injury in the warm-up.

Reigning World Indoor 60m champion Andy Pozzi failed to progress to the 110m hurdles final but Eilish McColgan and Laura Weightman reached the 5,000m final.

Meanwhile, Ireland's top middle distance runner Ciara Mageean produced an admirable performance in the first round of the 1,500m at the World Championships in Doha last night to qualify for today's semi-finals.

The 27-year-old Portaferry woman ran a mature and controlled race, easing home in fifth place in a time of 4:04.18, which is her sixth fastest time and only 0.3 seconds behind heat winner Sifan Hassan.

Kenya's current world champion Faith Kipyegon was second in 4.03.93.

Mageean (Lisburn AC) beat British international McDonald, while English team-mate Jemma Reekie failed to make the semis.

Mageean knows that she will need to run the race of her life tonight to qualify from 24 athletes for Saturday's final.

However, she is full of confidence at the end of a season during which she has produced four Irish records.

"That was a good, tough race. You never know how these top races go. I aimed to put myself in a competitive position and I did that," said Mageean.

"I have been doing a lot of altitude training in St Moritz and it seems to be working. I've raced a lot over 800m this year to cope with the gut-busting last 100m in a 1,500m race.

"This event is now an unbelievable standard and I feel privileged to be part of it."

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