Dina Asher-Smith breaks down in tears as Team GB star confirms her Olympics are OVER due to hamstring injury
DINA ASHER-SMITH broke down in tears as she confirmed a hamstring injury has ruled her out of the Olympics – including her favoured 200m event.
The British star endured a heartbreaking morning as she failed to qualify for the 100m final after a disappointing semi-final performance.
Speaking to BBC afterwards, the reigning world champion confirmed that it was down to her injury woes that she had kept secret from fans leading into the Games.
And she added she would not be competing in the 200m with her Olympic dream now over.
The emotional 25-year-old thanked her ‘trusted golden circle’ for keeping her injury secret before she broke down in tears.
Asher-Smith said: “Obviously I'm so disappointed not to make the final because this is Tokyo 2020, it's everything I've trained for the past two years.
“But the last few weeks of my athlete life have been absolutely insane.
“I wanted to come and be completely upfront with everybody on my form and life and just what has happened.
“I pulled out of both Stockholm and Gateshead because in the trials final, I actually pulled my hamstring at 60m, I tore it pretty bad and I was initially told in Manchester that it was a rupture and that I would require surgery and it would take three to four months to get back.
“It's been a lot to deal with because quite frankly, with that diagnosis, I just can't go to Tokyo, so we had this whole statement ready to go but then I thankfully went and got a second opinion and it was a slight misdiagnosis – even though there was still a tear, it wasn't a rupture, my hamstring was still attached, so we turned over every single stone to make sure I can stand on the line.”
TEARS OF PAIN
When asked about the 200m event, her emotions took over as she confirmed she was pulling out.
The tearful Asher-Smith said: “I think I’m likely to pull out of the 200… I’m sorry. We’ll let this start go and let me cry.
“Right, we are good. I am going to pull out. That’s the one, as reigning world champion, and I was in such good shape – you just know that Olympic champion is not that too much of a further step.
“I didn’t want to cry on TV but because of the journey and having three weeks of running, a week running slowly then the last week getting to spikes and it being fingers-crossed…
“I’m really proud of everything I’ve done her to this point but when you are talking about the standard I want to be at and know I’m capable of, there’s plenty more championships for me to come and kill.
“We are in the middle of a four-to-five year cycle and yes, I’ve got a hamstring tear at the most inconvenient time, but it doesn’t change the fact of the calibre of athlete I really am and I know if I want to showcase that then I just need a few weeks more of power training and speed endurance to fill that gap when I was trying to walk again and extend my knee and flex.
“It’s the Olympics – but there is another one.”
Asher-Smith – Team GB's brightest star in athletics – was immediately backed to come back by former gold medallist Denise Lewis.
She said: "It is devastating and no-one wants to see an athlete like Dina pull out, but she will be back and if her hamstring is bad she is making the right decision.
"It is part of your growth, understanding how you deal with that and how you come back. The pressure to pull out is always tough."
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USA running legend Michael Johnson felt for fans.
He said: "This is difficult. Everyone is thinking, the big elephant in the room is keeping this a secret from the fans, who now may be thinking I could have taken myself down a bit, tempered myself.
"At the same time, you have fans and they want to ride along with you – whether it's high or low, they want to support you."
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