STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sleepless in Berlin: Dina Asher-Smith kept awake by golden success

British athlete Dina Asher-Smith isn't getting much sleep these days.That's what happens when you spr...

Posted: Aug. 15, 2018 2:42 PM
Updated: Aug. 15, 2018 2:43 PM

British athlete Dina Asher-Smith isn't getting much sleep these days.

That's what happens when you sprint your way into the history books -- Smith is the first British woman to claim three gold medals in the 100 meters, 200m and the 4x100m relay final at the European Championships.

Continents and regions

Europe

Northern Europe

United Kingdom

Olympics

Sports events

Athletes

Sports and recreation

Berlin

Germany

Western Europe

A whirlwind of media commitments to talk about her golden success in Berlin last weekend saw Asher-Smith getting up at 5am after she flew back from Germany earlier this week.

During the championships themselves shut eye time didn't come easily. She was so overcome with joy by her multiple successes -- her 100m time was the fastest time of the year alongside Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou who also managed 10.85 seconds -- she found it tough to sleep.

"Whenever I got in to bed, I would shut my eyes and I had a little voice in my head saying 'Dina! Oh my gosh, you ran in 10.85,' I was like 'go away, I need to sleep, I need to sleep," Asher-Smith told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies.

"So the hardest thing was taking my adrenaline levels down and just being able to sleep which I was not too successful at. But you know, we made it -- we won three."

Her performances have been described as "world class" by British Olympic great and IAAF president Sebastian Coe.

But Asher-Smith, who was inspired by fellow British champion Kelly Holmes' success at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, doesn't see herself has a favorite for either the World Championships in Qatar next year or at Tokyo 2020, as there are other competitors who will not "let her have her own way."

"Obviously I am going to try and put my best foot forward and work really really hard and put myself in the best situation coming in to the World Championships and the Olympic games," said the 22 year-old athlete.

"But I am definitely aware that you have some of the fastest women of all time running."

READ: Ultra runner blazes a trail in 200km Alps challenge

Asher-Smith admits she traveled to Berlin in a confident mood, but even surprised herself by how well she did.

"I always hoped it would go that well," she explained. "I did come in to it entering three events and you come in with the mentality of 'I want to win.'

"But athletics is one of those sports where you can never make accurate predictions because things rarely follow the book.

"So for me to come out with three gold medals and three world leads was definitely more than I was hoping for."

'Fiercely competitive'

Asher-Smith's 100m time in Berlin would have given her third place had she raced in the Rio Olympics two years ago, where Jamaica's Elaine Thompson won gold in 10.71 seconds and USA's Tori Bowie won silver in 10.83 seconds.

The British sprinter is aware she still has further to go, adding that she knows her female competitors personally and whilst they are friends, they are "so fiercely competitive and so incredibly hard working and talented."

"I am fortunate enough to push myself into that category but they are so talented and competitive and the Olympic games are going to be as it always is -- fiercely competitive," she said.

When she was 17, Asher-Smith was the youngest athlete on the British team at the World Championships in Moscow, where she picked up bronze in the 4x100m.

Though Asher-Smith says she has not yet reached her peak, the sprinter's achievements to date rank higher than her peers.

She is equally busy -- and successful off the track. Asher-Smith gained a history degree from King's College London and received an honorary doctorate from Canterbury University -- all within the space of six months.

In 2017 she suffered a broken foot, but recovered quickly and helped GB win a silver medal in the 4x100m at the World Championships in London.

Due to race in the 200m at a Diamond League event in Birmingham in the Midlands on Saturday, she understands sacrifices need to be made in the pursuit of glory, recalling that after the 100m sprint in Berlin she and the other athletes noticed ice cream in the hotel dining hall and had to refrain from indulging.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and features

She says that in comparison to the sacrifices people have to make in other jobs, curbing her sweet tooth is a very minor irritant.

"People save lives, people make really important decisions every day so I do feel blessed my job is to run in a straight line," she said.

"If it means I can't have an ice cream or pizza or KFC whenever I wanted -- then so be it."

Article Comments

Eugene
Broken Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 32°
Corvallis
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 31°
Roseburg
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 41°
North Bend
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 39°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events