British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith wins 100m European gold to claim first major title for FIVE YEARS

GOLDEN GIRL Dina Asher-Smith warmed up for the Paris Olympics by becoming Champion of Europe and ending a five-year drought.

The Londoner, 28, recaptured the women’s 100 metres crown on night three of the European Athletics Championships at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

ReutersDina Asher-Smith is the European champion[/caption]

ReutersThe Team GB star recaptured the women’s 100m crown[/caption]

EPAShe edged out her rivals in the perfect warm-up for the Olympics[/caption]

GettyAmy Hunt, 22, came seventh with a time of 11.15 seconds[/caption]

The former world 200 metres champion was the best continental runner in 2018 but could not repeat the trick two years ago when she pulled up in the final.

Last night’s triumph on Italian soil is the perfect remedy as she tries to take on the incredible Americans and Jamaicans at the Paris Olympics.

After a false start caused by another runner, Asher-Smith overcame a sluggish start to power through in 10.99 seconds – the only woman to dip under 11 seconds.

The 28-year-old split with long-term coach John Blackie after the last World Championships in Budapest and has been based in Austin, Texas over the last winter.

There is still a long way to go if she wants to be seriously competitive in Paris but winning golds is always a wonderful pick-me-up – especially when it’s your first major title for five years.

She said: “That’s not normally my style of race, but I didn’t panic in my running, even if my head was a different story.


“I really wanted to come here and win and showcase what we are working on.

“I’m just really happy.”

Amy Hunt, 22, continues her development on the international stage by coming seventh in 11.15 seconds.

Jemma Reekie, 26, led for most of the women’s 1500 metres final and was the pre-race favourite given her qualifying form.

But down the home straight it all fell apart for the Scotswoman and she faded out to fifth place as Irishwoman Ciara Mageean pushed through the gap to take gold in 4:04.66.

Amateur athlete Georgia Bell – who is a full-time cyber security software expert – won silver in 4:05.33 on her GB outdoors debut.

Lizzie Bird initially took bronze in the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase in a time of 9:18.39.

But she was upgraded to silver when the French winner Alice Finot was retrospectively disqualified for an infringement.

Elsewhere, four British runners collectively won team gold in the women’s half marathon.

And Calli Hauger-Thackery (1:08:58) celebrated individual bronze.

Top 20 UK sporting moments of the 21st century, voted by fans

1.  Sir Andy Murray winning Wimbledon in 2013
2. Jonny Wilkinson’s last-minute drop goal for England against Australia to win the 2003 World Cup
3. The Lionesses winning the Women’s Euros in 2022
4. Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2015/16
5. Sir Mo Farah’s double gold at the 2012 Olympics – 5,000m and 10,000m
6. Sir Steve Redgrave winning his fifth consecutive Olympic rowing golds in 2000
7. ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’ – Liverpool’s comeback from 3-0 down to win the Champions League against AC Milan in 2005
8.  England winning the Ashes in 2005
9.  England’s Cricket ODI World Cup win in 2019
10. David Beckham’s last-minute free-kick against Greece in 2001 to secure England’s qualification for the 2002 World Cup
11. Manchester City FC’s men’s team completing a historic treble in 2023 (winning the FA Cup, Premier League, and Champion’s League)
12.  Sir Chris Hoy’s triple gold at the 2008 Olympics in track cycling
13. Sir Lewis Hamilton winning his seventh Formula 1 championship in 2021
14. Emma Raducanu winning US Open title in 2021
15. Dame Kelly Holmes’ double gold at the 2004 Olympics for the 800m and 1500m races
16. Ben Stokes’ Ashes-saving 135 not out at Headingly in 2019
17. Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill’s heptathlon gold at the 2012 Olympics
18. Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France victory in 2012
19.  Ronnie O’Sullivan winning with seventh snooker World Championship in 2022
20.  Paula Radcliffe’s marathon world record in 2003

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