Dina Asher-Smith ended an unprecedented summer of three major championships without a single gold medal after a night of mixed emotions for Britain’s 4×100 metres teams concluded the European Championships.
While Zharnel Hughes took his week’s tally to two golds and a silver courtesy of a dominant victory from the men, Asher-Smith did not even have the chance to bid for glory when the baton was dropped long before she was due to lead the team home on the anchor leg.
With Asha Philip failing to hand off to Imani-Lara Lansiquot at the first changeover, it meant Asher-Smith relinquished all three of her European titles, leaving Munich with only a 200m silver. She won 200m bronze at the World Championships, where her mid-race hamstring problem dashed the 4x100m team’s podium aspirations and forced her to miss the Commonwealth Games.
“It’s been an interesting year for me,” admitted Asher-Smith. “Emotionally, it’s been a lot, and emotion is a big bit of performance.
“But honestly, we’re so strong [as a relay team]. Behind the scenes this year, we’ve worked so hard, we’ve improved so much and nothing is ever ever going to change that. If that means our time comes in Paris [2024 Olympics] and Budapest [2023 World Championships] then so be it. We definitely know what we’re capable of.
“Some things that are very frustrating, they make us sharper, they make us focused, make us want it even more – and it will just push us into the next few years. But it’s sport, isn’t it? It’s also why everything’s entertaining in a strange way.”