Asher-Smith's season-best for 200m

Britain's Dina Asher-Smith ran 22.06sec to win the 200m race at the Diamond League on Thursday. She is aiming for Olympic gold in Tokyo.
Britain's Dina Asher-Smith ran 22.06sec to win the 200m race at the Diamond League on Thursday. She is aiming for Olympic gold in Tokyo.PHOTO: REUTERS

FLORENCE • Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, 25, clocked her fastest time outside of a major championships as she powered to victory in the 200 metres at the third Diamond League meeting of the season in Florence on Thursday.

The world champion laid down a strong marker ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 22.06 seconds that was more than half a second ahead of the Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou.

Not only was it Asher-Smith's best time this season but it was also just 0.03sec slower than the fastest time this year by Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

"It's been really hard over the past year and a bit because of the pandemic - so I'm really proud to be able to put that kind of time, and I definitely have more in me," she said.

In the men's 100m, South Africa's Akani Simbine edged out Britain's Chijindu Ujah to the line by two-hundredths of a second with his 10.08sec.

The surprise of the evening in Florence, which was hosting the meeting due to Rome's Stadio Olimpico hosting of the Euro 2020, was Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen setting a European men's 5,000m record.

The 20-year-old stormed clear in the final 200m to finish in 12:48.45, smashing his personal best by almost 14 seconds. He finished more than six seconds clear of Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei, who trailed in sixth.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands edged ahead of Kenya's Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon on the final straight to win the 1,500m by 0.28sec.

Hassan set a 10,000m world record in her home country on Sunday only to lose it two days later to Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey, but the Dutchwoman ended her week with a world-leading time of 3:53.63 - the eighth-fastest time in history.

"I thought that Faith Kipyeon was going to win. At 800m, we were so fast, but I tried to do my best," Hassan said. "I got the meeting record, but for me, it is not so much about that. I am surprised about the time."

Dutchwoman Femke Bol continued her impressive rise with a personal best 53.44sec in the 400m hurdles, her third Diamond League victory.

Double Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia registered a 43rd Diamond League victory in the discus, winning with her biggest throw in two years of 68.31m.

Jamaica's Omar McLeod ran a world-leading 13.01sec to win the 110m hurdles and New Zealand's Tom Walsh won the shot put ahead of Italian Leonardo Fabbri, who threw his season's best of 21.71m in his hometown to finish third.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'Asher-Smith's season-best for 200m'. Subscribe