Plaudits pouring in for Dina Asher-Smith
DINA ASHER-SMITH is soaking up the end-of-season plaudits. Last weekend alone she was named European female athlete of 2018, while in the British press
she graced the cover of The
Sunday Times Style magazine. The latter (see below, right)
was timed to coincide with The Sunday Times sportswoman of
the year awards, the results of which are decided today (Nov 1) in London.
In The Sunday Times Style feature, she was photographed wearing the Off-White clothing that featured in AW’s news pages last week, while her interviewer wrote there is “no better spokesperson for women in sport than Dina Asher-Smith,” adding: “She is a positive new voice. And it is wonderful to meet a woman so in love with her job that she will commit everything she has to it.
“There’s no time for romance, no time for hobbies, little time for friends; only a singular focus on getting onto the podium.
This is the attitude taking her to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, for which she begins preparing next month.”
At the European Athletics Golden Tracks awards in Lausanne, meanwhile, she was announced as female athlete of the year while Kevin Mayer of France took the men’s prize, courtesy of his decathlon world record and world indoor gold.
Asher-Smith is the fourth British athlete to win the award after Sally Gunnell in 1993, Kelly Holmes in 2004 and Jessica Ennis-Hill in 2012, taking the 2018 trophy ahead of last year’s European athlete of the year Katerina Stefanidi of Greece and European, world and Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium.
Mayer is the third French athlete to be crowned male European athlete of the year after Christophe Lemaitre in 2010 and Renaud Lavillenie in 2014.
The decathlete took the prize ahead of Turkish sprinter Ramil Guliyev, Norwegian middle-distance talent Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis.
Duplantis and Ingebrigtsen did still receive awards, however, as they were named joint winners of the men’s rising star accolade, while Belarusian hurdler Elvira Herman won the women’s award.
Elsewhere, Greg Rutherford was presented with a lifetime achievement award after his long jump career ended in 2018. “It’s an incredibly proud day,” he said.
Ukraine’s two-time European 800m champion Nataliya Pryshchepa received the fair play award following her act of sportsmanship in the heats when she ran to the assistance of Belgium’s Renee Eykens who fell in the home straight.