Gid­dy­ing as­cent of al­pha fe­male fix­ing gaze on Tokyo

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Spor World Athletics Championsh­ips - By Oliver Brown CHIEF SPORTS FEA­TURE WRITER in Doha

Un­der the glar­ing night lights that bright­ened this patch of desert scrub, Dina Asher-smith did not so much win a race as blaze a trail. In a shade un­der 22 sec­onds, she pro­duced a mo­ment that had eluded ev­ery one of the coun­try’s fe­male sprint­ers be­fore her, grasp­ing the global gold medal that el­e­vated her from the al­pha fe­male of Bri­tish ath­let­ics to the cusp of sport­ing great­ness.

To ce­ment her place in the fir­ma­ment, she needs to con­vert her feats in Qatar into an Olympic ti­tle in Tokyo next sum­mer, but such is the steep­ness of her tra­jec­tory at 23 years old, she should re­gard her ca­reer in this sport as one with­out lim­its.

For the next 10 months, Ash­ersmith will be a fe­ro­ciously guarded prop­erty. Noth­ing will be al­lowed to dis­turb the equi­lib­rium of a young woman with his­tory on her mind. In Doha, she has with­drawn be­tween races into a co­coon, speak­ing min­i­mally to the me­dia and dis­tract­ing her­self with Great Bri­tish Bake-off.

Af­ter her hat-trick of Eu­ro­pean golds in Ber­lin last sum­mer, she felt far freer to branch out, grac­ing the cat­walk at Paris Fash­ion Week while en­joy­ing the promi­nence of be­ing named on Forbes’ “30 Un­der 30” list along­side Pe­tra Kvi­tova and An­toine Griez­mann.

Such ac­co­lades were dwarfed by the mag­ni­tude of the prize she seized here. She has trav­elled fur­ther than any­one be­lieved pos­si­ble when she spent much of 2017 stricken by a foot in­jury, turn­ing con­ti­nen­tal gold into world glory with­out skip­ping a beat.

No­body should down­play the sig­nif­i­cance of Asher-smith’s ac­com­plish­ment here. There are comets that come around more

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