European Championships 2018: Dina Asher-Smith now 'world class' after 100m win

2018 European Championships
Venues: Glasgow and Berlin Dates: 2-12 August
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra plus the BBC Sport website with further coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app.

Dina Asher-Smith is now "world class" after setting a new British record to win European Championships 100m gold, says BBC commentator Steve Cram.

The 22-year-old triumphed in Berlin in 10.85 seconds, the joint fastest time in the world in 2018.

Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson said it was a "new era" for British sprinting after Zharnel Hughes took gold in the men's 100m.

"The new crop are thinking, 'I want to be up there with the best'," he added.

"I just hope these guys can continue on this trajectory - continue to improve and continue to win medals as the next World Championships come round and then the Olympics.

"They need to continue with the hunger and the desire that they've had to win these medals."

Asher-Smith 'only going to get better'

Asher-Smith ran 0.07 faster than her own previous British record as she won her first major 100m title.

Before this season Asher-Smith's 100m best was 10.99, set as a 19-year-old in 2015. Injury has checked her progress since with a hamstring problem in 2016 followed by a foot fracture in 2017.

On both occasions she managed impressive results in spite of injury, claiming a 200m European gold in 2016 before a creditable fourth place over the same distance in last year's World Championships in London.

But this unhindered campaign has seen her reach new levels.

She broke her national mark in June with a 10.92 run in Oslo and has now gone under the 11-second barrier five times in 2018.

Before Saturday's final, she is also Europe's fastest woman over 200m this season ahead of Netherlands' world champion Dafne Schippers.

"10.85 was incredible, because Dina Asher-Smith didn't even need to run that time," Johnson told BBC Sport.

"These sorts of championships are good for confidence boosters for athletes, because I don't know if Dina Asher-Smith runs that time if she's not up against the best like she was today. She ran that time, not because she needed to, but because she could and because he believed she could.

"Now that she knows she has that time in her, she's only going to get better."

British sprinting is 'looking good'

Shortly after Asher-Smith took gold, Hughes, 23, led home a British one-two in the 100m, clocking a championship record 9.95 seconds to beat Reece Prescod by 0.01.

Born and raised in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla, Hughes lost 200m Commonwealth Games gold in April after being disqualified for impeding another athlete.

He set a 100m personal best of 9.91 in June and says he wants to focus more on the 100m, rather than 200m.

"It is a new age and it's a great age. They are pushing each other further on, which they need to do," 2000 Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis said.

"Zharnel Hughes has proved his point by backing it up with performances time and time again. I think there is still loads to come from Reece Prescod too. But sprinting is looking good in British athletics."


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