Athletics

Dina Asher-Smith’s brilliance fails to hide low British medal haul

• Five medals is lowest world championship total since 2005
• We should do better, says athletics performance director

Laviai Nielsen takes the baton from Emily Diamond in the 4x400m final in which Great Britain finished fourth

Despite a week in which Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson hit the very highest notes, the British team have left these world championships in Doha with their worst medal tally since 2005.

Five medals – two below the target of seven to nine set by UK Sport – has further turned up the pressure on the British Athletics performance director, Neil Black, 10 months before the Tokyo Olympics.

Asher-Smith left Doha on a bounding high having accumulated a haul of gold in the 200m, sandwiched by silvers in the 100m and 4x100m. Next stop for the 23-year-old will be a holiday, before she starts preparing for Tokyo 2020 and returns to spreading the gospel of sport in schools.

When kids say they want to be like me I’m like: ‘No you don’t, you want to be better than me, It’s true. It’s a compliment but don’t aim to do what I do, aim to do better.

Four of the British team’s five medals at these Championships were won by women, the most one-sided split since 2007. And Ashleigh Nelson, who took home a 4x100m relay silver medal, believes that the success of the British women in Doha must create a sustainable legacy.

Elsewhere Jake Wightman was the best of the three British men in the 1500m, running a personal best of 3:31.87 to finish fifth behind Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot, who bombed away to take gold.

In the long jump, which was won by Germany’s Malaika Mihambo with a leap of 7.30m, Britain’s Abigail Irozuru came seventh with 6.64m with Shara Proctor 11th on 6.43m.

Meanwhile, Asher-Smith has confirmed that she is likely to skip the world indoor championships in Nanjing in March to give her more time to recover from her exploits in Doha. “Tokyo is next July and this championships is late so it makes the turnaround quite condensed,” she said. “It cuts into our off season which no one is happy about. I doubt I’ll be running indoor but you never know.”

Dina Asher-Smith’s brilliance fails to hide low British medal haul
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