At some point in the next few weeks, the bulldozers and wrecking balls will move in to the Alexander Stadium ahead of its renovation for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Before then, Dina Asher-Smith is determined to apply a demolition job of her own by smashing her own British championship 100m record.
The 23-year-old has been a model of consistency this season, easily running under 11sec in all four of her 100m races, and she is determined to keep her streak going at the UK trials for the world championships in Doha next month.
“The fact that I’ve been able to stay under 11 seconds all year is great,” says Asher-Smith. “And I really want to keep it that way. It’s for my own satisfaction. Even if I see a headwind of -3 metres/second I will be fuming but I will still be going for it. It’s a little game I am playing with myself.”
With temperatures expected to soar over 27C, Asher-Smith is understandably hopeful of breaking her own British championship record of 10.97sec, set last year. “I’m really excited. It’s another chance to run on home soil, which I love. The British trials is always a great event and it is going to be one of the last ever races at the stadium. So I guess I’ll have to give it a nice hurrah.”
While the IAAF’s controversial new rankings rate Asher-Smith as the top athlete in the world over 100m and 200m – and she is nearly two-tenths quicker over 100m this season than her nearest British rival Jodie Williams – she insists she is not getting carried away.
“It is all well and good running fast throughout the season but you have to make the team. I don’t take any of that for granted.”