Asher-Smith looking to shine
Asher-Smith looking to shine

Kent’s Dina Asher-Smith will be looking to continue her astonishing start to the season and build towards the world championships in Doha next September when she takes to the track for the women’s 100 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Rome tonight.

Asher-Smith, the triple European champion, underlined her world title ambitions by leaving the reigning Olympic and world champions in her wake with a stunning 200m victory in Stockholm last week.

The 23-year-old British sprinter pulled away from 2016 double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson to finish in 22.18sec, with the Jamaican trailing in her wake with 22.66 and former world champion Dafne Schippers way back in third in 22.78.

Thompson, 26, will be looking to hit back, along with Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou, a double 100m and 200m silver medallist at the 2017 worlds in London, who is making her first international appearance of the year.

“The world championships are a very long time away,” said Asher-Smith, looking towards the September 28-October 6 competition in Doha.

“While it’s good to be in good shape now, it’s important I stay in good shape and continue to progress.

“I need to run faster by September because I know everyone else will too.”

Two other Americans cannot be ruled out – Olympic 4×100 gold medallist English Gardner and Shanghai 100m winner Alecia Hobbs.