The SJA British Sports Awards last week saw students from News Associates gathering interviews and producing text and video. Here Nicola Kenton talks to newly-crowned Sportswoman of the Year Dina Asher-Smith.
Dina Asher-Smith admitted an increase in her self-belief has benefited her performances on the track.
The 23-year-old athlete was named Sportswoman of the Year at the Sports Journalists’ Association British Sport Awards after she became a triple European champion in Berlin, claiming gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
At the 2017 World Championships, Asher-Smith finished fourth in the 200m after breaking her foot early in the season but this year, she has been injury-free.
“It’s testament to more things than just not being injured, it’s years’ worth of hard work and my strength coming up,” she said.
“I’m getting a bit older, a bit more mature and even though I’m quite young, I have been racing at senior level since I was 17.
“I’m getting more used to things and starting to believe in myself.”
In the European final of the 200m, Asher-Smith secured gold with a British record and world-leading time over 200m in 2018 and she recognised how her coach John Blackie was pleased with how she executed the race.
“My personal proudest achievement this year was running my 21.89,” she added.
“I’ve wanted to break the 22 second barrier for a while now and for various reasons either injuries, general conditions or just that moment, it didn’t happen.
“I did what we set out to do. I did exactly what he wanted, I pushed at the right time, I didn’t tense up and that’s probably why it brought a tear to his eye.
“I’m very happy to have done that in the way I did in Berlin.”
Her next target is the World Championships and Asher-Smith, who was the joint-fastest woman over 100m in 2018, knows she’s right in the mix.
“Everyone goes in wanting to win, it’s like saying if you buy a lottery ticket, do you want to win the lottery? Of course,” she said.
“Honestly, the aim is to stay fit and run fast because staying healthy and injury-free is the key to getting faster in track.
“I don’t have a specific rival for next year, it’s all of them, we all stand on the line.”
This year Asher-Smith won two 4x100m relay golds at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships and hopes that the squads continue their development.
“We’re going to keep working hard across the men’s and women’s 4x100m teams, it’s been great in the last four years,” she added.
“We’ve really improved and hopefully we can carry that improvement into the next few years.”
– Nicola is a studying for her NCTJ Diploma in Journalism with News Associates. News Associates was named the UK’s number one ranked journalism school for the fourth straight year by the National Council for the Training of Journalists. Their sports course runs in conjunction with press agency Sportsbeat – more details visit: http://newsassociates.co.uk/our-courses/nctj-diploma-multimedia-sports-journalism-35-weeks/