“If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too.”
Dina Asher-Smith at 24 holds the title Britain’s fastest female sprinter, but take note, it’s all about happiness, inner confidence and having a strong support system she tells Huffpost UK;
“You can be in the best shape in the world, but if you’re not chilled and you’re not happy, if you’re not confident within yourself, you’re not going to run well.”
No coincidence: Right from an early age she developed her love for sports and discovered she was very good at sprinting.
At age eight, she teamed up with the Bees Academy at Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club and was coached by John Blackie – 14 years later, they’re still a team.
The 1.6m tall Smith was no ordinary athlete, she showed lots of promise even from the start and would later become the world’s fastest teenager ever over 60m and 200m; At just 19 years old, Asher-Smith stamped her foot as the first ever British woman to run 100m in under 11 seconds at the London Anniversary Games. Same year she broke the women’s British record for running 200m in 22.07 seconds.
During her younger days Dina Asher-Smith won gold medals in the World and European Junior Championships.
In 2018 Dina’s light shine brightly at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, winning three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, improving her British records to 10.85 and 21.89 secs and becoming the first British woman in history to run below 22 seconds for 200 metres, and moving to 22nd on the 200 metres world all-time list (35th at 100m). She won a third gold medal in the 4 × 100 metres relay.
Asher-Smith was named women’s European Athlete of the Year for her success in October. Asher-Smith was later hailed by IAAF president Sebastian Coe as the next sprint sensation in athletics.
September 2019 would cement her place in the sporting world; she did it again. Running 200m in 21.89 seconds at the World Championships, she became the only British woman in recorded history to finish in under 22 seconds, scooping a gold medal for that record-making race.
Dina grew up in Orpington, London, and credits a strong support network and having the same coach since she was eight years old enable her to train hard and escape the fear of failure ahead of competitions:
“I know that whether I run fast or slow, whether I win or lose or get injured or not, they’re always going to have my back,” she adds. “If I wanted to stop running tomorrow, I think my coach, my parents and my friends would be shocked, but it wouldn’t change how they view me.
“In a weird way, when you’ve got that automatic security blanket, everything else tends to come with it because suddenly, you’re not under so much pressure.”