Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith dedicated her 200m world bronze to her late grandmother and revealed how she overcame her grief.
The 26-year-old clinched a brave podium spot at the World Championships after losing to 92-year-old Sislyn in May.
Asher-Smith conceded the title she won in Doha three years ago to overwhelming favorite Shericka Jackson but still clinched Britain’s third medal in America on Thursday.
Asher-Smith was clearly emotional as she celebrated, including hugging mum Julie and paying tribute to her grandmother, admitting the past few months have been difficult.
She said: “My victories are always dedicated to my family and my team and everyone who has helped me up to this point.
“She is an incredible woman and my whole family would not be what we are without her, without her hard work and sacrifices for us. She came to help the NHS after the war. She has been a nurse all her life, working at Lewisham Hospital.
“I had to make myself from so deeply saddened to a race. But when you’re in that kind of caliber, it’s not good enough to race. You must be excellent. It’s something I’ve never really struggled with.
“My brain wasn’t in the room. It felt like I was watching myself doing things.
“It was such a weird way of doing it. I knew I was in great shape, but it’s that psychological element that’s so important to run at this level.
“There’s no timeline for things like this and Team Psych did a great job of getting my brain and body on the same page. I’m in great shape, but your mind needs to be there too.
“Some things happened and I said ‘thank you grandma, thank you’ because I know she sends me that good vibes. After the 100m I was like ‘thank you’.”
Jackson’s 21.45 seconds, bettered only by Florence Griffith Joyner’s 21.34 seconds in 1988, put her finish ahead of 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Asher-Smith insisted she was in better shape than her pre-championship form suggested after losing the British 100m title to Daryll Neita in Manchester last month.
She started well on Thursday in Eugene, beating Nigeria’s Aminatou Seyni and USA’s Abby Steiner to secure her podium spot.
Asher-Smith had already equaled her British record of 10.83 seconds when she finished an agonizing fourth in Sunday’s 100m final as Jamaica claimed a clean victory.
“I’m honestly so incredibly happy with it. You had to run 21 seconds to reach the final, 21.08 didn’t make it,” she said. “I can’t stress how crazy that was. I knew I had to run like my life depended on it if I wanted a chance.
“I am so happy to have been on the podium. As the reigning champion, I’d love to keep my title, but if someone runs 21.4, you know what, congratulations.
“Three 10.8s on these champions just tells me I can do 10.7. So 21.9 and 22.0 means my personal best is ready to be broken. I’m happy and looking forward to moving forward, but it’s crazy. It’s so fast.”
Asher-Smith is now running in the 4x100m relay, with the final on Saturday at Hayward Field.
USA’s Noah Lyles took the men’s 200m title in 19.31 seconds ahead of teammates Kenny Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton.
Lyles said: “I was in shape for a world record, but I agree with the American record. I felt like I had the best start I could ask for. The race was basically set up for me. I got lane six, an outside lane. To be honest, every move was purposeful, with the intent to win.
“I gave everything. I literally had nothing left after I crossed the finish line. It’s a flawless feeling to be on the podium with two fellow Americans.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/dina-ashersmith-shellyann-fraserpryce-jamaica-america-doha-b2128875.html Dina Asher-Smith dedicates World Championship bronze to her family