Ohuruogu: Dina can do the triple in Tokyo

Ohuruogu was speaking at an event in Stratford to celebrate the National Lottery's 25th anniversary
Ohuruogu was speaking at an event in Stratford to celebrate the National Lottery's 25th anniversary

World champion Dina Asher-Smith has the ‘inner steel’ to make history and do the triple in Tokyo, writes Tom Harle.

That’s the view of Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu, joined by Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson as the seventh and eighth British women to win a world individual title.

Asher-Smith is shredding British records and blazing a trail in the sprints as a matter of course and Ohuruogu reckons she can cope with the demands of doing the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

“I don’t see why Dina can’t do all three like she did in Doha,” said Ohuruogu.

“I always think it’s difficult, pinning medals around people’s necks and it’s not fair to burden the athlete in that manner.

“But I would say I think Dina has all the right elements, all the right temperament to take her career as far as she can go.

“Because I know Dina, I’m quite conscious of saying these things but she ticks all the right boxes.

“She just has an inner fire. She has it in her make-up to be a high achiever. And I think those are probably the most important things, that she has a very, very, very steely determination about her.

“She comes across as very smiley and bubbly, but there’s a solid bar of steel within her that wants to keep doing better and better. That’s a good quality.

“All those rounds are a lot to get through but she’s well established at doing that. It’s not something that’ll be too difficult for her.”

Asher-Smith led the charge in Doha but the British team emerged with only five medals, missing their target of six to eight, their worst haul of medals at the global gathering since 2005.

Ohuruogu leapt to the defence of the British team and decried media labelling the performance a disappointment.

“It’s not something to boohoo at, or complain about,” she said.

“These athletes know how to assess a Championships and plan for the next year, which is the Tokyo Olympics.

“We’re athletes, we’re not robots. We have lives, we have feelings, and things don’t always work out on the day. Until you’re an athlete and understand what that’s like, keep quiet.”

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