• Dina Asher-Smith impressed again as she broke the British women’s 200 metres record and is now the fastest teenager in history
  • The 19-year-old finished fifth in the World Championships final
  • Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers claimed gold with a sub-22 second run 

Martha Kelner for the Daily Mail

Dina Asher-Smith became the fastest teenager in history, a title previously owned by American Allyson Felix who has progressed to four Olympic and nine World Championships gold medals.

Her time of 22.07 seconds in the 200m also broke a British record set by Kathy Cook in 1984, 11 years before Asher-Smith was born. 

Yet it was still not good enough for a medal in a race where Dafne Schippers of Holland, who had competed in the heptathlon until this season, triumphed in 21.63s, the fastest ever time by a European. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson clinched the silver medal in 21.66s with teammate Veronica Campbell-Brown taking bronze in 21.97sec.

Dina Asher-Smith of Britain hugs gold medal winner Dafne Schippers after finishing fifth in the 200m 

Dina Asher-Smith of Britain hugs gold medal winner Dafne Schippers after finishing fifth in the 200m 

Asher-Smith, 19, was the first to embrace the winner after crossing the line. ‘I was thinking “I know I’m really trying my best but they’re already gone so what on earth is the time going to be,” she said, ‘So when I crossed the line I was just open mouthed because 21.6 one and two is absolutely amazing and for all the medals sub-22 I’m flabbergasted, it’s absolutely amazing.’

Despite missing out on a medal after being the fastest qualifier from the semi-final, Asher-Smith grinned afterwards and perspective about her achievements. A wiser head would be difficult to find in someone so young.

Asher-Smith set a new British record with a time of 22.07 but finished outside of the medal positions.

‘Often you get athletes going “oh man, in this place I could have done more” but I’m happy as that’s the best I could have done. I’d love to to have got a medal but to be in that calibre of race was brilliant in itself. I’m absolutely over the moon. I’ve run three PBs three days in a row and ended with a British record so I’m a really, really happy girl.’

A history undergraduate at King’s College in London, Asher-Smith’s only obvious regret was that she will be unable to fit in a visit to any of Beijing’s tourist hotspots while she is in the Chinese capital. She will compete in the 4x100m relay on Saturday. ‘I fly out on Monday but obviously I’ve got to watch the 4x400m’s [on Sunday] and support my teammates so there won’t be any time for sightseeing,’ she said,

‘The celebrations are on hold for now. It’s ice baths, massages and getting ready for the relay. But when I get home I’ll have carrot cake. I’ve spoken a lot with [teammate] Zharnel Hughes about all the food we’re missing while in China because it’s obviously very different cuisine over here.’

Schippers crossed the line in 21.63 to beat the 28-year-old championship record by .11 seconds

Schippers crossed the line in 21.63 to beat the 28-year-old championship record by .11 seconds

Only Marion Jones and Florence Griffith Joyner, more commonly known as Flo-Jo, have gone quicker than Schippers’ winning time. Jones ran 21.62sec in 1998 and Flo-Jo 21.34sec to win gold at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. 

In 2004, Jones admitted to using steroids during her career and there has long been a cloud of suspicion around the records of Flo Jo, who died in her sleep 15 years ago aged just 38. It was then inevitable that the Dutchwoman would face questions about whether she was reaching such speeds naturally.

‘I know I am clean and I know I work very hard for it, I do all the doping control,’ said Schippers, earnestly. Her coach Bart Bennema, who Schippers has worked with for seven years, leapt to her defence. ‘She doesn’t have the best predecessors,’ he said, ‘Simple as that, she can’t help that.’

The Dutch sprinter burst through to win in the final 50m as she clinched the gold medal 

The Dutch sprinter burst through to win in the final 50m as she clinched the gold medal 

Bennema dismissed comments on social media suggesting Schippers’ skin was indicative of use of performance enhancing drugs. ‘If you walk down the street in Holland I can point out 10 girls her age with that skin,’ he said 

‘Sometimes you have bad skin. I understand that it’s one of the things you have when you use something like doping but sometimes you just have bad skin. It’s unfair. It’s in her family.’

Historically, the world’s fastest women have been of African descent but Bennema said the fact Schippers is a white European is not grounds for suspicion. ‘I understand the question because she’s white but it’s not a factor for me,’ he said. 

Schipperscrosses the finish line to win ahead of silver medallist Jamaica's Elaine Thompson

Schipperscrosses the finish line to win ahead of silver medallist Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson

‘She just has the right genes. It’s the way it is. There was a Chinese in the final – Asians can run fast too. When they line up it’s just eight women that want to run fast, that’s it. It doesn’t matter.’

Tiffany Porter squandered a gilt edged opportunity to claim her first title at a major championships in the 100m hurdles final, with many of her chief rivals absent. Porter, who won bronze at the Moscow World Championships, fell over after crossing the line in fifth in 12.84sec. The winner was Jamaica’s Danielle Williams with Cindy Roleder of Germany getting a surprise silver medal.

American medal favourites Dawn Harper-Nelson and Kendra Harrison failed to advance from their semi-finals. Harper-Nelson, the third quickest woman in the world this year clattered into the second hurdle while Harrison was disqualified for a false start. 

Tiffany Porter (left) fell as she crossed the line during the final of the 100m hurdles in Beijing

Tiffany Porter (left) fell as she crossed the line during the final of the 100m hurdles in Beijing

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