Dina Asher-Smith in stunning return as GB set record to reach 4x100m relay final

Dina Asher-Smith says she is targeting a medal after returning from her injury heartbreak to help her team qualify for the 4x100m relay final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Asher-Smith did not just return – she ran the third leg as Great Britain set a new national record to win their heat on Thursday morning.

The British quartet of Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Daryll Neita finished ahead of the USA and Jamaica in a time of 41.55 seconds.

Asher-Smith tore her hamstring at the British Championships in July and pulled out of the Olympic 200m after failing to make the 100m final.

It was a stunning return to the track for one of British athletics’ biggest stars, taking 0.22 seconds off Britain’s previous best, set when winning bronze at the Rio Olympics – and she is not done yet.

“After the 100m I did say there was no way I wasn’t going to be here for the 4x100m girls,” said Asher-Smith.

“I only had one day off, then I got back on the training track. Essentially, all I need is a few more weeks and sessions. [My coach] was saying if I had a few more days it would have been the 100m final, another week and it would have been 10.8 seconds.

“It’s one of those things where I’m chasing times. Give me a few more training sessions and I’ll be closer to where I’m used to being. There was no way I wasn’t going to be here.

“It has been a crazy five weeks. It would be absolutely amazing to win a medal, but that is not the thing I think about right now. It is about staying focused.

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“That is where my head has been for the past week. It hasn’t been in what happened. It hasn’t been about the 100m or 200m.

“It has been about me getting back on the training track and making sure I bring my absolute A-game to this race.

“Of course, it would mean incredible things to everybody. We were the bronze medallists in Rio.

“It would be amazing for us to get another medal again, for all of us, for all of our lives, for all of our individual dreams and aspirations.”

Team GB are sure to face a tough challenge in Friday’s final, with individual women's 100m gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah and silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce likely to return for Jamaica having sat out of qualifying.

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They will undoubtedly be favourites, but first-leg runner Philip is feeling confident after her team’s record-breaking qualification.

“A medal is definitely on the cards for us,” she said. “It was a good race, a nice warm-up for us.

“We were up at 4am, on the 6.40am bus and started warming up at 7.30am. All these times we haven’t seen in a while. So it was great for us to come out with that.”

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