Dina Asher-Smith: British sprinter has more 'self-belief' after memorable 2018 season

Dina Asher-Smith wins the 200m at the Stockholm Diamond League in May
Asher-Smith (centre) beat Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and world champion Dafne Schippers to win the 200m at the Stockholm Diamond League
Rome Diamond League
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Thursday 6 June
BBC coverage: Watch highlights on Saturday 8 June at 13:00 BST on BBC Two (repeated on BBC Red Button, 00:15-09:00 BST on Sunday 9 June)

British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith says she gained in "confidence" and "self-belief" following her 2018 success.

The 23-year-old won triple European gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in Berlin in August, following relay gold and 200m bronze at the Commonwealth Games in April.

She will race the 100m for the first time this season at the Rome Diamond League meet on Thursday.

"I definitely got more confident," Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.

"I think it's about self-belief. It's not necessarily how other people view me, because I don't mind what other people think about me when I'm in a race.

"For me, it's just knowing that I have this within me, and that if I do the right things, I can do it.

"It might sound quite futile or silly, because you tell yourself you can do it, but sometimes it makes a difference actually believing it."

Asher-Smith has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2019 season, winning the 200m at the Diamond League meets in Doha and Stockholm.

But regardless of her result over the shorter distance on Thursday evening in the Italian capital, in which she will go up against Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson and world 100m silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, Asher-Smith knows she is in a "good place".

She explained: "It's going to be my first 100m of the season. Everyone keeps asking me 'what do you think you're going to run?', but I actually have no idea.

"I think that's a really good place to be in because I have got that confidence that no matter what happens tomorrow, I know I am in a good place.

"Whether that result is in a great time or something that I need to work on, it doesn't matter because I know I'm in good shape."

Asher-Smith will be seeking her first individual World Championship medal later this year, having won 4x100m relay silver and bronze at the past editions in London and Moscow.

She will go into this year's championships - which take place in Doha from 28 September to 6 October - as one of the favourites to top the podium in both of her individual events, and is prepared to "test" herself on every step of the way.

"It's really good that we have good quality competitions throughout the year because as I always say, how on earth are you going to learn how to race these intense races in championships and Olympic Games when the pressure and the moment is turned up to 100, if you haven't done that on the Diamond League circuit before?" she said.

"I always like to test myself in hard races - sometimes it goes fantastically, and sometimes it doesn't.

"It's important to make sure you do these things and learn from them, build on each race.

"You have to do high quality races before World Championships because otherwise you're leaving yourself with a stone unturned."

Britain's Laura Muir will also be in action in Rome, taking on world record holder Genzebe Dibaba over 1500m, while Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (200m), Andrew Pozzi (110m hurdles), Lorraine Ugen, Shara Proctor (both long jump) and Holly Bradshaw (pole vault) also compete.

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