Dina Asher-Smith builds up for Tokyo with dominant 60m win in Karlsruhe

Dina Asher-Smith stressed the importance of the indoor season to her hopes of claiming Olympic gold after making a victorious return to international competition in Karlsruhe.

The 25-year-old equalled her personal best of 7.08seconds for the 60metres in her first international appearance since she claimed the 200m world title in October 2019.

Asher-Smith is expected to race again in Dusseldorf this weekend as she continues her build-up towards the European Indoor Championships in Poland in March.

She said: “It’s really important this year more than ever.

“We wanted to make sure we concentrate on the 2021 indoor season to make sure we’re race-sharp going into the Olympic outdoor season.

“Because whilst the world has been really weird, we can’t forget that we’ve got the biggest prize in track and field up for grabs this year.”

IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 – Day Three – Khalifa International Stadium
IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 – Day Three – Khalifa International Stadium

Asher-Smith had cruised through her semi-final heat in 7.11secs as she marked what was also her first indoor race for three years.

Then she swept home in the final, her winning time just 0.02secs slower than the British record held by team-mate Asha Philip, who finished fifth.

Asher-Smith insisted she had not been daunted by returning to competition after such a long absence, and noted a number of improvements that she expects to make in the weeks and months ahead.

“I’m very, very happy with today,” she added. “It’s been a very strange year for us all and it’s been a long time since I competed on the international stage, so I wasn’t quite knowing what to expect.

“But equalling my PB is really good and I’m excited for what the next races bring.

“I’ve been working really hard in training and it’s good to see some of those elements come through. I hope it all bodes well but I still have to work hard and stay focused and make sure the trajectory continues.”