Dina Asher-Smith upbeat about Olympics after worlds bid hit by mystery problem

Dina Asher-Smith vowed to hit back at the Olympics after battling a mystery problem at the World Championships.

The 2019 200m champion missed out on the podium on Friday night in Budapest after coming seventh as Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson stormed to a title defence.

Jackson ran the second best time in history to win in 21.41 seconds ahead of the USA’s Gabby Thomas and Sha’Carri Richardson, before Noah Lyles defended his 200m title.

Asher-Smith, who was also beaten by fifth-placed British team-mate Daryll Neita, admitted she suffered an issue in the 100m semi-final on Sunday but still feels it gives her belief ahead of next year’s Paris Olympics.

She said: “I was going great and then I just couldn’t feel anything below my waist.

“That’s why I was able to go and run the (100m) final because I wasn’t in pain but neurally I didn’t have any control. I was still dealing with that.

“It was about still coming back and just making everything work. I’m grateful to have got through it all in one piece after just not being able to feel from here (waist) downwards during that 100m.

“It was such a shame because I really was on the way to something quite good.

“But I think it gave me quite a bit of self-confidence, how I was running going into it and how I felt and despite the fact that I got halfway through the 100m (and then could not feel her legs).

“I’m taking a lot from that and pushing into Paris that I can be very much on top of the podium.”

Neita set a personal best of 22.21s in the semi-final and then broke it again to clock 22.16s in her first global 200m final.

World Athletics Championships 2023 – Day Seven – Budapest
Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith and compatriot Daryll Neita compete in the 200m final (Martin Rickett/PA)

She said: “I performed well. My last final was Tokyo (Olympics, 100m) when I came last. I came fifth in a very fast final, I know I can perform. I’ve got time to get better. I ran a PB and yesterday so I am raising my game.”

Lyles completed his double in Hungary to prove he is ready to claim Usain Bolt’s sprint king crown going into the Olympics.

The American defended his 200m title in 19.52 seconds ahead of team-mate Erriyon Knighton and Letsile Tebogo of Botswana as Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes finished fourth in 20.02s.

It came after Lyles won the 100m in Budapest on Sunday to become the first man to win both sprints at the worlds since Bolt in 2015.

“It is a great feeling to know I did something not a lot of people have done,” he said. “I came out and showed it. I am double champion. Usain Bolt has done it and him saying to me that he sees what I am doing and he respects it, it is amazing.”

Hughes refused to be downbeat after his fourth place, having won 100m bronze on Sunday.

He said: “No, there’s nothing to be disappointed about. I gave it my best and got fourth. That’s nothing to be disappointed about. Obviously I wanted to be on the podium but I’m still happy.

“You saw how close I was. Listen, with a better lane, I would have been on the podium, honestly.”

World Athletics Championships 2023 – Day Seven – Budapest
Zharnel Hughes was proud of his performance in Hungary (Martin Rickett/PA)

He will join the 4x100m relay team for Saturday’s final after they qualified third in their heat in 38.01s.

Preparation was interrupted after Reece Prescod withdrew from the squad on the eve of the Championships and Eugene Amo-Dadzie needed to pull them back from fourth to third on the final leg.

He said: “It’s always nice to run men down, put guys on notice. I’m confident, I’m going to back myself and I trust these guys to get he baton in my hand. It was fun. It was a surreal boyhood dream.”

The women’s team of Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Bianca Williams and  Annie Tagoe qualified for the final fifth fastest in 42.33s but Neita and Asher-Smith are due to run on Saturday night to boost their medal hopes.