Tokyo 2020 Olympics- 'Absolute sheds of tears' Dina Asher-Smith opens up on injury heartache
Team GB's Dina Asher-Smith has revealed the physical and mental trauma which has led to her pulling out of the 200m at Tokyo 2020 following 100m heartbreak. The reigning world champion has disclosed that she tore a hamstring at the end of June during the British Athletics Championships, an injury which has left her at ‘rock bottom’.
'Real struggle' - Nightmare for Asher-Smith as she fails to make 100m final
Reigning world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith has revealed the physical and mental trauma which has led to her pulling out of the 200m at Tokyo 2020 following heartbreak in the 100m.
Asher-Smith was one of Team GB's main medal hopes at this year’s Olympic Games, but following her failure to qualify for the 100m final, she has confirmed that her fitness levels mean she is unable to compete in the 200m under the advice of her team.
The 25-year-old revealed that she tore a hamstring at the end of June during the British Athletics Championships, an injury which has left her at ‘rock bottom’.
Dina Asher-Smith was unable to reach the 100m final
Image credit: Getty Images
Speaking trackside to Eurosport’s Greg Rutherford, Asher-Smith said: “I obviously didn’t make the Olympic final, absolutely gutted and I know the way I am saying this might sound really blasé considering I am a reigning world champion and world silver medallist.
“In my trials in Manchester, in the final 60 metres, I tore my hamstring
“I knew something wasn’t right during racing...Initially that day I was told it was a complete rupture, and I would need surgery and a three- to four-month recovery.
“Over that 72 hours that was rock bottom.
I just opened my eyes, cried, talked to my friends, cried, told my little golden circle of trust that I wasn’t going to the Olympics in absolute sheds of tears.
Following the initial 72 hours, Asher-Smith travelled to Germany to discover the true extent of her injury, with the hope of still being able to compete in Tokyo.
She continued: “I wanted to go to the best sports doctor in the world to just get an assessment of surgery - this was on the selection day and in my head I was like, 'I’m not going,' statement prepared, absolutely gutted, heartbroken, felt numb, all of those things.
“I got across the border for him to say, 'You’ve definitely torn it, grade 2 tear, it’s not good, absolutely not good but if you are really diligent, really good, there is a chance you might be on your feet by Tokyo.'
“I called the selectors In floods of tears like, 'Please select me, there’s a chance I might go.'
“We spent two weeks quietly in quarantine in Germany working really hard, off crutches, walking again, jogging again, running again.
“Then suddenly it cropped up on the time to leave for Tokyo, so I left, came here, popped on my spikes just over a week ago
I said, 'Look, I’m reigning world champion, I am world silver medallist, it's been a crazy five weeks but I am a competitor and let's go and get this.
“Had this been a month later, had this been six weeks later it’s a completely different story, but it's not. Life can be annoying sometimes.
“If you had asked me six weeks ago I would have said hands down I am going to do the double, which is what initially broke my heart five weeks ago because I understand what I’m capable of.”
The world silver medallist went onto disclose to Eurosport that she had wanted to ‘battle this in private’ but had been encouraged by her coach to come back to the cameras to tell her secret to the world.
'Absolutely gutting' - Rutherford crushed by Asher-Smith not making 100m final
Despite her injury and withdrawal from her individual event, Asher-Smith aims to return to the track for the 4x100m relay on Thursday to continue to support her fellow athletes who have also faced great challenges this year.
“I want to still do the relay,” she said. “An extra week of training and 11.05 is incredibly useful on a relay.
“We are a team who are here today, but we have all triumphed against the odds.
“In the last five weeks I know exactly what that feels like, but overall there has been a pandemic,
People have been training in fields, training in car parks, hopping over fences, they have been the most resourceful and resilient group of Olympians we are ever going to see.
“That’s something we have all got to be proud of and the team is phenomenal.”