Home crowd the motivation for Dina Asher-Smith’s Birmingham bid in hectic summer

Competing in front of a home crowd is Dina Asher-Smith’s motivation to race at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer.

The postponement of the World Championships in Oregon from last year because of coronavirus has made it a hectic schedule for British athletes, who also have the European Championships in Germany in August.

Asher-Smith’s priority is the World Championships and defending the 200 metres title she won in Doha in 2019, but the 26-year-old is relishing the chance to compete in all three events.

She told the PA news agency: “I’m so excited for all three championships. Even talking about it all day now, I’m just genuinely excited to start this little rollercoaster.

“It’s what I’m peaking for, what I’m aiming for, it’s definitely the main focus of my season, to be as strong as possible throughout all three and I’m truly excited.”

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Asher-Smith took Commonwealth bronze over 200m in Australia four years ago as well as gold in the 4x100m relay, while she won three gold medals at the last European Championships in 2018.

She set a best 200m time of the season so far at the Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday of 22.27 seconds in finishing third behind Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Asher-Smith is particularly excited about competing at the redeveloped Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, saying: “We walked in and we were all like ‘Wow’.

“It almost feels like we’re in Switzerland. I think it is going to be a beautiful venue and an amazing championships.

“I’ve always been very transparent, the World Championships is my focus, and I think that’s probably not going to be a secret to anyone and it’s going to be the same thing for every single athlete that lines up in the Euros and the Commonwealth Games.

“But it does not take away from how important Commonwealth Games is because it’s at home, it’s in Birmingham, and I do want to be there, mainly for the crowd if I’m being completely frank.

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“I want to be there and I know that loads of my friends are really excited to go and to see me perform at home. I love championships. I think it’s going to be exhausting and your emotions are going to be frazzled by the end of it but I think when you look back on it, it’s kind of once in a career.”

The World Championships run from July 15-24, with the Commonwealth Games starting on July 28 before the European Championships kick off on August 15.

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