Dina Asher-Smith came through unscathed in the heats as Team GB set a new British record in the women’s 4x100m relay on Thursday.
The sprint star – who had her Olympics wrecked by a hamstring injury – returned for the first time after failing to reach the 100m final and pulling out of the 200m.
Asher-Smith was untroubled as she ran the third leg with the team, also consisting of Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Daryll Neita, impressively winning their heat in 41.55 seconds – a new British record.
Dina Asher-Smith ran in the women’s 4x100m relay heats as Team GB set a new British record
Asher-Smith (centre-right) ran the third leg and came through unscathed despite her injury
An upbeat Asher-Smith told the BBC afterwards: ‘In my head there was never any doubt in my mind that I’d be lining up here today because the relay is really important, we got a bronze medal in Rio.
‘I know these ladies are in great shape, they’re incredibly talented, so I knew rest up and get ready for the team event this week. I’ve been training hard to get ready!’
The final is on Friday afternoon – Team GB won a bronze in the event at Rio 2016.
Daryll Neita, who ran the last leg striding away from USA and Jamaica, added: ‘I was watching the first change on the screen thinking, “ok, that was really good,” then I saw Imani running and by the time she’s running I just get my head down.
The British team looked delighted after they won their heat in the blazing sun on Thursday
But seeing golden girl Asher-Smith compete pain-free will be a relief to the British team
‘I saw Dina coming into it and I thought, “it’s go-time.”
‘I really wanted to bring it to the finish for these girls. We’ve worked so hard. We haven’t had that much practice and neither has the rest of the world in the pandemic.
‘To come out here today in the heat and set a British record, to have amazing changes – we’ve got confidence. Girls, good job!’