Dina Asher-Smith says Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 10.63 100m ‘amazing’ for athletics

Dina Asher-Smith set an Olympic qualifying time in Hengelo on Sunday
Venue: Firenze Marathon Stadium, Florence Date: Thursday, 10 May
Coverage: BBC Four, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app from 19:00-21:00 BST

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 10.63-second 100m run on Saturday was “amazing” for athletics, says British rival Dina Asher-Smith.

Only American legend Florence Griffith-Joyner has run faster, setting the world record of 10.49secs in 1988.

“I’m a competitor, but you can’t ignore the fact Shelly-Ann is an amazing athlete,” said Asher-Smith.

“It’s amazing not only for her but also our sport.”

She added: “My coach sent me a video showing her leg speed and he said ‘this is what I’m talking about, you need to move your legs like that!’.”

Fraser-Pryce, 34, took more than a year out of the sport around the birth of her son in 2017.

Her time eclipsed the 10.72secs run by American Sha’Carri Richardson as the fastest time in the world this year, and was an improvement of 0.07secs on her previous personal best of 10.70, set in 2012.

‘I have some rust to get rid of’

Asher-Smith – who won the world 200m title in Doha in 2019 and silver in the 100m – will race at the third leg of the Diamond League in Florence on Thursday.

She will launch her 200m campaign against the likes of Olympic silver medallist Dafne Schippers and world silver medallist Marie-Josée Ta Lou.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old won the women’s 100m at the FBK Games in the Netherlands, qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and breaking Schippers’ meeting record.

But she admitted to still feeling some rustiness from the time spent away from the track during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“As always racing like anything else is a skill which you’re never, ever going to forget how to do,” said Asher-Smith.

“But for me I need a few to warm up and I’m going to continue to navigate my way through the season and get to the Olympics in the best possible shape and the best shape to perform well out there.

“Not racing for a year you definitely have some rust to get rid of, 100%!”

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