Dina Asher-Smith is staying calm ahead of the Rio Olympics


Olympic hopeful Dina Asher-Smith has played down the hype surrounding her bid for Rio glory.

The European 200m champion is being tipped for a medal at next month's Olympics after a meteoric four-year rise.

The 20-year-old will compete at the Anniversary Games in London at the weekend ahead of travelling to Brazil for her Olympic debut.

Great Britian's Dina Asher-Smith celebrates after winning the Women's 200m Final
Asher-Smith celebrates crossing the line first at the European Championships (Martin Rickett/PA)

Earlier this month she became the first British woman to win the 200m at the European Championships and just two years ago she became world junior champion.

She is now the fastest British woman in history over 100m and 200m but Asher-Smith, who is studying history at King's College London, is keeping cool at the prospect of a medal for Team GB in Rio.

"I very much take things step by step. I have got to get on the plane safely, I still have a race to do in London, then I have to do the heats, get to the semis and then make the final," she said.

"Getting to an Olympic final is such a big feat in itself, I have so many more things to think about than the prospect of getting a medal.

"There are so many ladies running quickly right now and all I have to do is focus on my performance."

Dina Asher-Smith during a visually impaired sprint masterclas
Asher-Smith is currently studying at King's College (John Walton/PA)

Asher-Smith is a bright spot during a dark time for athletics after an investigation commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency found evidence of "state-directed, fail-safe" doping throughout Russian Olympic sport on Monday.

It is likely to lead for greater calls for Russia to be banned from Rio and, while Asher-Smith could not comment on the report, she admitted everything, however big or small, must be blocked out if Team GB's athletes are to succeed.

She said: "It goes for the things in broader context, whether you're having trouble with your friends, boyfriend or didn't sleep well last night.

"When you stand on the line everything that could put you off has to be pushed aside because when you cross the line and people are watching, they don't know you've just broken up with your boyfriend or didn't sleep last night.

"All they see is the time and make their judgment."

Asher-Smith with her European Champs gold medal (Martin Rickett/PA)
Asher-Smith with her European Champs gold medal (Martin Rickett/PA)

At the London 2012 Olympics she carried kit for athletes and at last year's Anniversary Games she became the first British female to dip under 11 seconds in the 100m heats.

The Londoner booked her place for Rio at the British Championships last month, allowing herself to get emotional after winning the 200m, but insisted she can keep herself calm when the big day in Brazil arrives.

"I didn't think I would be competing at the next Olympics," she added.

"I haven't done anything out of the ordinary because it is another race and as soon as you start to blow it up and give it extra care and attention then the pressure starts to mount.

"I can keep my emotions in check when I get to Rio."

Tickets for the Müller Anniversary Games are available from £20. More finish-line tickets have now been released. Visit www.britishathletics.org.uk