Encouragement for Asher-Smith
Encouragement for Asher-Smith

Kent’s Dina Asher-Smith was handed a boost as rival Shaunae Miller-Uibo confirmed she will not race in the 200 metres at the World Championships.

Triple European champion Asher-Smith came second behind Miller-Uibo in the 200m at the Birmingham Diamond League meet on Sunday.

Asher-Smith clocked 22.36 seconds behind the Olympic 400m champion, who won in 22.24secs.

Bahamas sprinter Miller-Uibo will only race in the 400m at the World Championships, which start at the end of September, because the schedule will not allow her to compete in the 200m.

Miller-Uibo has not lost a race for two years, but – despite seeing a main rival drop out – Asher-Smith is not taking gold for granted.

“I did already know, but I didn’t want to be the one who breaks the news,” said the 23-year-old, who plans to run the 100m and 200m in Qatar.

“I don’t really think of things like that (now being the one to beat). I am used to being the underdog, so sometimes I go to a champs ranked 12th or 20th.

“I don’t care what happens on paper. My coach John (Blackie) always says we don’t run on paper – which obviously isn’t funny, it’s a dad joke, but it is very true.

“I ran well here, great, but where does that put me for the World Championships? It doesn’t really mean anything with the greatest respect, because at the end of the day it is what happens in the three rounds in Qatar.

“You have Olympic champion Elaine (Thompson) to come, reigning world champion twice over in Dafne (Schippers), so you have to wait and see.”

Miller-Uibo revealed her team had asked for changes to be made at London 2017 before failing with another request for Doha, meaning she will only contest one discipline.

She added: “We’ve decided I’ll only do the 400m in Doha. The schedule just wouldn’t allow both. We’re asking for Tokyo (Olympics) now.”

At the Alexander Stadium, Asher-Smith beat double 100m Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who came third. Reigning 200m world champion Schippers was fourth.

The trials for the Worlds, which start next month, are held at the British Championships in Birmingham next weekend.