Amy Hunt hopes to follow in the footsteps of Dina Asher-Smith

Teenage sprinter Amy Hunt hopes she can follow in the footsteps of Dina Asher-Smith ahead of the Muller British Athletics Championships on Friday.

Hunt burst onto the scene in the summer of 2019, when she set a new women’s under-18 world record with a time of 22.42 seconds in the 200 metres in Mannheim.

She finished the year with two gold medals at the European under-20s tournament in 2019, and was named young female athlete of the year by the British Athletics Writers’ association.

Speaking ahead of the British Championships in Manchester, Hunt said: “I think Dina (Asher-Smith) has done an amazing job of proving that British sprinters and British women particularly can be on that world stage and win global golds.

“It’s been really, really lovely to see that and be inspired by that and hopefully follow in her footsteps.”

Last year, Hunt also made her elite level debut at the Indoor Grant Prix in Glasgow in February and finished fourth in a field which included World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

The 18-year-old was only five when the Jamaican won her first Olympic title in 2008, and feels she has learned from the experience.

“I think it was a really good one and an amazing opportunity for me to compete against people like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce earlier this year, an opportunity I never thought I’d get, a humongous and amazing learning curve to be on the start line with her and feel her presence and the kind of crowd that she brings in and perform under those circumstances.”

Unlike many athletes, the postponement of the 2020 Olympics has not caused significant problems for Hunt and she believes she will be more competitive next year.

When asked whether she benefited from the move, Hunt said: “100 per cent. I think it’s a very good opportunity for me to have an extra year to work on a lot of different aspects of my racing.

SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships – Day One – Emirates Arena
SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships – Day One – Emirates Arena

“Even just in the last six months it’s been a really, really valuable time for me and my coach that we didn’t think we’d get and it’s allowed us to work on a lot of technical aspects.

“I’ve been in the gym a lot working on my strength, which is one of the key things I definitely need to focus on.

“Yes, another year just gives me so much more time to prepare and it means just naturally I’ll be fitter, stronger, faster – all those sorts of things.

“It allows me to feel like I can actually make the Olympics and if I do I can actually be competitive there, (that) I’m not just there to just have my first experience, I can actually get there and compete on the world level against some really incredible other girls. So I definitely think it’s been a huge positive for me.”

::Britain’s top athletes return to competitive action on home soil this weekend at the Muller British Athletics Championships, with live coverage on BBC2 from 18:00-21:00 on Friday and on BBC1 13:15-16:30 on Saturday. For more information visit www.britishathletics.org.uk.’