Dina Asher-Smith beams when she speaks about competing. It’s not just sprinting that makes her smile from ear to ear, it’s the art of competition that drives her.
Although the thought of standing on the start line next to the best in the world and racing against them isn’t daunting for Asher-Smith, it’s exhilarating. She’s excited by the prospect of all eyes being on her and that years of work will come down to a matter of seconds.
However, Asher-Smith is the fastest British woman in history. She’s the reigning world 200m champion and a 100m world silver medalist. At 25-years-old, she is Team GB’s athletics captain and when Asher-Smith is on the start line of a major final, there’s no other place she would rather be.
It’s fortunate then, that Asher-Smith’s parents were always trying to find ways to expend the energy of their bubbly child and that a friend asked her for a favor at a young age.
“I was always running around and causing mischief,” Asher-Smith told Judy Murray on Sky Sports‘ Driving Force. “They [my parents] always had me taking part in loads of different clubs and sporting activities.
“When they set up a running club at primary school, my friend asked me to go with her because she really wanted to go. I just thought that running didn’t really appeal to me; I thought that you were just running around and you weren’t getting points or anything like that!
“Then, she said if I went with her, she’d get me an ice cream from the van after school. That clinched it, but I just thought that I’d go with her for the first time because she was a bit nervous.”