Britain's female sprinters seem to be displaying promising early season form, judging by the times recorded at the Fanny Blankers-Koen meeting over the weekend in the Netherlands. Both Dina Asher-Smith and Asha Philip finished in the top three places over the 100m distance, in an event won by local favourite Dafne Schippers in 10.94 seconds. Better still for Asher-Smith, she broke the British record in recording a swift 11.02 seconds.
Promise in the women's sprints
Asher-Smith at just 19-years-old represents both the present and the future for Britain. In her very first 100m of the new season, she was able to remove Montell Douglas' 2008 mark of 11.05 seconds from the record books. The next target for the 2014 World Junior Champion must surely be to crack the historic 11 seconds barrier to elevate her into true world class as a senior athlete. Without her in the final of last year's European Championships in Zurich, her compatriots took the gold medal in the 4x100m relay. With her in the team, in all likelihood they will go even faster and move on to the next level.
These are encouraging times for British female sprinting, backing up the promise from last season which seemed to represent something of a watershed for them. Philip placed 4th over the 100m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year. She finished third and improved her personal best to 11.10 seconds at the weekend's meeting in Hengelo.
Other British success in Hengelo
Britain enjoyed similar success in the men's 100m race, as Chijindu Ujah took first place in 10.09 seconds and Adam Gemili was third in 10.19 seconds. There was a return to action for Christine Ohuruogu (52.27) in the women's 400m as she came second, just ahead of her teammate Anyika Onuora with 52.35.
Strength in depth
With strength in depth and competition from within their own ranks pushing each other along, the British women sprinters look likely to continue to improve. After filling 2nd to 4th places at the Commonwealths over the 200m, the often tricky relay bend running requirements also seem to be satisfied. As a quartet in the 4x100m relays that can only be good news for the summer in Beijing and the World Championships.
They will be looking to build on the bronze medals they gained behind the strong teams from Jamaica and Nigeria at the Commonwealths (representing England), but can expect strong additional opposition at global level from the likes of the Americans. However, the cohesion of the unit has already be demonstrated this year by their outstanding third place at the recent IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas. With qualification for Rio 2016 confirmed, they can work on both their individual speed and sharpen up those ever important baton changes before then. #Athletics #Commonwealth Games