TASS family out in force at 2019 World Athletics Championships

Double European champion Dina Asher-Smith leads the charge for Great Britain on the opening weekend of the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

And the Kings College London history graduate is one of 11 TASS alumni chasing glory at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium this week.

Asher-Smith, who received TASS support from 2012-2013, represents her country in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

And after running the fourth fastest times this year in both the 100m and 200m, the 23-year-old is one of GB’s brightest medal prospects.

“I’ve raced all of the leading women at different stages in the season,” she said.

“It might be that I’m in front of them but they are in a heavy period of training.

“Or I might be behind but I’ve been loading my legs and they’ve been peaking for that race.

“Racing the best girls has been really good mentally.

“Whenever I’ve gone into a race this season I’ve had to bring my ‘A’ game and that will stand me in good stead going into the World Championships.”

The world’s best athletes compete in Doha from September 27-October 6.

And Asher-Smith hopes to better Kathy Cook’s 1983 200m bronze by becoming the first female sprinter to bag gold in a World Championships.

The Kent-born sprinter will be surrounded by fellow TASS alumni as those elite athletes encouraged to follow the dual career path look to make their mark on the global stage.

Newcastle’s Sarah MacDonald is midway through a medical degree at Birmingham University. And the middle-distance runner benefitted from the full package of TASS support as an undergraduate in the West Midlands.

Toby Harries, named in the 4x400m squad, received TASS support as recently as 2018 as a student at UCL.

And at the opposite end of the scale, experienced distance specialist Steph Twell first joined the TASS scheme in 2005.

“It’s always fantastic to see so many of our alumna competing against the world’s best and flying the flag for dual career sport,” said Guy Taylor, TASS National Director.

“They are proof positive that it is possible to combine elite sport with studies and should inspire future generations to do the same. Everyone at TASS wishes the GB team the very best of luck in Doha and we can’t wait to see what the World Championships will deliver.”

The full list of TASS supported athletes representing Great Britain is as follows:

Jake Wightman (1,500m, TASS athlete 2013/14)

Zak Seddon (3,000m steeple chase, 2011/12)

Harry Coppell (pole vault, 2013/14, 2014/15)

Callum Wilkinson (20km race walk, 2016/17)

Cameron Chalmers (4x400m, 2016/17)

Toby Harries (4x400m, 2017/18)

Dina Asher-Smith (100m/200m/4x100m, 2012/13)

Emily Diamond (400m, 2011/12)

Sarah MacDonald (1,500m, 2016/17)

Steph Twell (10,000m, 2005/06)

Sophie McKenna (shotput 2011/12, 2012/13)