New British champion Daryll Neita insists she can match Dina Asher-Smith on the world stage after taking her 100m title.
Olympic 100m finalist Neita clocked 10.80 seconds at the British Championships in Manchester on Saturday to edge out Asher-Smith. Her time would have broken Asher-Smith’s British record of 10.83sec had it not been heavily wind-assisted.
The 200m world champion ran 10.87sec but could not beat Great Britain team-mate Neita, who believes she can challenge Asher-Smith ahead of next month’s World Championships in Eugene.
She said: “I’ve watched her do amazing things on the world stage and it’s been very inspiring but I’ve always known I can do it too. This gives me a lot of confidence and I really believe there is no limit to me.
“I’m super happy. I’ve worked so hard for this. To finally get the gold just means so much.”
Last year’s champion Asher-Smith finished ahead of Imani Lansiquot but could not hide her frustration at second place.
She said: “I’m annoyed because I’d rather win. I’m fuming because I don’t like losing but I said to her face that I’m very happy for her. She’s worked really hard and improved so much over the years.
“I don’t like losing so I’m angry but I’m happy to be all in one piece heading on the plane to Eugene.
“Domestically it’s really important to have that rivalry, to have someone else turning out the times. Having all the sprint girls doing really well is amazing.
“I’ve been working on stuff in training, my body is in good shape, we just need things to come together at the right time. It doesn’t impact on my expectations for Oregon.”
Jeremiah Azu, last year’s European Under-23 champion, stunned Zharnel Hughes and Reece Prescod to take the men’s 100m title with a wind-assisted 9.90 seconds that would otherwise have been a championship record.
Hughes ran 9.91 seconds in the semi-final, although it was heavily wind-assisted, but could only finish third with Prescod second.
“I had it on my lock screen on my phone since last year – 2022 British champion – and to stand here and say it I’m so grateful,” said Azu, who should still earn a place in the GB squad for Eugene through world rankings.
“It’s just the beginning, I’m 21 and I’m looking to change sprinting in Britain forever.”
Laura Muir claimed the 1500m title for the first time in six years after easing to a comfortable victory in four minutes 12.91 seconds.
The Scot, who came fifth in the 1500m in Doha three years ago, will now travel to America next week ahead of the World Championships.
“If you’d asked me how I was feeling a couple of weeks ago I would have been a little bit uneasy,” said Muir, having won Olympic silver last summer.
“It was nice last week to do some 800m and go ‘OK, we’re fine, the training is translating into races’. I’ve still got a couple of weeks to go and I feel in a very good, strong, position.
“It was all about coming through and getting that Worlds place and I’m happy I’ve done that. It’s my first British title in the 1500m since 2016 so I’m happy to get that back. Being injured, doing the 800m, Covid, I’ve not run it in that long.”
Jake Wightman took the men’s 1500m crown with Josh Kerr, who won Olympic bronze last year, third, and new British record holder Matthew Hudson-Smith is the 400m champion. Elliot Thompson, son of double Olympic champion Daley, won the decathlon.
Keely Hodgkinson was fifth in the women’s 400m in a personal best of 52.41 seconds, with the title won by Victoria Ohuruogu.
Hodgkinson was using the weekend as speed training, having dropped down from the 800m, as she plans adding to her Olympic silver medal.
She added: “I’ll be going in as one of the favourites to medal. You can’t think of the pressure or get too nervous because it’s a really good position to be in. I’m just looking forward to going out there and fighting for the gold medal.”
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