‘Sad I won’t be there’: Dina Asher-Smith out of Commonwealth Games

  • Sprinter suffered hamstring strain at world championships
  • Doubt over her defence of three European titles next month

Dina Asher-Smith has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games after injuring her left hamstring during the world championships and now faces a race against time to defend her three European titles in Munich next month.

Asher‑Smith, who won bronze over 200m in Eugene, was expected to be one of Team England’s biggest names in Birmingham, but on Wednesday she said: “Unfortunately, I’ve got a slight hamstring strain and won’t be ready to race next week at the Commonwealth Games. “I love racing in front of a British crowd and was so excited to return to Birmingham, so I’m sad that I won’t be there.”

Asher-Smith, who won gold and bronze in the Gold Coast in 2018, was due to compete in the women’s 100m and 4x100m relay. She added: “No major worries and nothing to worry about. I feel good but I’m in need of a few days off.”

It is the second hamstring injury Asher-Smith has suffered in the past year. Six weeks before the Tokyo Olympics she was in crutches after picking up an injury on her right leg but was able to recover in time for the Games after a visit to the controversial German doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt.

This time her injury sounds less severe, but she will have less than three weeks to be fit for the defence of her 100m crown in Munich.

Müller-Wohlfahrt, who has worked with many of the world’s best athletes, has been criticised in the past for using unconventional techniques such as injecting calves’ blood, honey and extracts from the crests of cockerels into his patients. However, at the Olympics last year, Asher-Smith said her treatment had focused on extensive physio and rehab exercises and had got her back in shape quicker than she had expected.

Kelly Sotherton, Team England’s Team Leader for athletics at Birmingham 2022, said she was disappointed at the news. “It’s obviously really sad to lose Dina through injury, given her stature and standing as one of the best female athletes in the world.

“We know just how much she was looking forward to being part of Team England at a home Games in Birmingham. We wish Dina well with her recovery and hope to see her back on the track very soon, doing what she does best.”

Asher-Smith adds to the list of major names including Tom Daley, Max Whitlock, Jonny Brownlee and the world 100m champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will miss the Games. The Olympic breaststroke champion Adam Peaty, though, is fit after a foot injury.


Sean Ingle

The GuardianTramp

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