Dina Asher-Smith reveals period caused calf cramps after running in 200m final

First, Dina Asher-Smith made a convincing statement of intent on the track by qualifying fastest for Friday’s European 200m final. Then he emitted an even more powerful one cri de coeur revealed that the calf cramps that ruined her chances of winning 100m gold on Tuesday were caused by her period.

On a night in which Great Britain won three medals, with Jake Heyward winning silver in the 1,500m, Jazmin Sawyers claiming a bronze in the long jump and the fearsome Eilish McColgan also making the podium in the 5,000m, the words of Asher-Smith on a topic that is often taboo left the deepest mark.

Having dispelled any injury doubts by qualifying for Friday’s final in 22.53 seconds, Asher-Smith was asked about her cramps on Tuesday. “It was just girl stuff,” she replied. “It’s just frustrating. It’s one of those things. It’s a shame because I’m in really good shape and I really wanted to come and run fast.”

The 26-year-old urged sporting bodies to provide far more funding and research. “More people need to look into it from a sports science perspective, because it’s huge,” Asher-Smith said. “People don’t always talk about it either.

“Sometimes you see girls who have been so consistent and there’s a random drop and behind the scenes they’ve been really struggling. Everyone else will be like ‘What is this? This is random.

“So we could do it with more funding. I think if it was a men’s issue there would be a million different ways to combat things.”

Jakob Ingebrigtsen reinforced his greatness by adding the European 1500m crown to his 5000m title with a wire-to-wire victory. But as the Norwegian cruised to victory in 3 minutes 32.76 seconds, Great Britain’s Heyward followed to claim silver, just under two seconds behind.

Joe Fraser has become the first Briton to win gymnastics gold at the European Championships after claiming victory in Munich.

The 23-year-old has recovered from a ruptured appendix and fractured foot ahead of the Commonwealth Games, where he won the pommel horse and parallel bars individual titles as well as the team gold in his hometown of Birmingham.

On Thursday, Fraser bounced back from an average floor routine to win both the pommel horse and parallel bars events. Fraser then produced a fine high bar routine on her final apparatus with a score of 13.700 to secure gold with a total of 85.565. The Turkish duo of Ahmet Onder (85.131) and Adem Asil (84.465) finished second and third.

“This is amazing. We’ve had a great journey to get here today, just racing six rigs, not many people thought we could do it,” Fraser said. \”There is no doubt that the overall medal is the biggest. Whenever people ask me, I say that I am an all-rounder and now I feel I can say that with real confidence and pride.\”

Fraser also qualified for the pommel and parallel bars finals, while GB teammates Giarnni Regini-Moran (floor, vault and parallel bars), Courtney Tulloch (vault and rings), James Hall (bar high) and Jake Jarman (floor) also passed in the individual competitions.

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Joe Fraser wins historic GB gymnastics gold

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Joe Fraser has become the first Briton to win gymnastics gold at the European Championships after claiming victory in Munich.

The 23-year-old has recovered from a ruptured appendix and fractured foot ahead of the Commonwealth Games, where he won the pommel horse and parallel bars individual titles as well as the team gold in his hometown of Birmingham.

On Thursday, Fraser bounced back from an average floor routine to win both the pommel horse and parallel bars events. Fraser then produced a fine high bar routine on her final apparatus with a score of 13.700 to secure gold with a total of 85.565. The Turkish duo of Ahmet Onder (85.131) and Adem Asil (84.465) finished second and third.

“This is amazing. We’ve had a great journey to get here today, even competing in six apparatus, not many people thought they could do it,” Fraser said. “There’s no doubt that the overall medal is the biggest. Whenever people ask me I say I’m an all-rounder and now I feel like I can say that with real confidence and pride.”

Fraser also qualified for the pommel and parallel bars finals, while GB teammates Giarnni Regini-Moran (floor, vault and parallel bars), Courtney Tulloch (vault and rings), James Hall (bar high) and Jake Jarman (floor) also passed in the individual competitions.

Photo: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu

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It was especially impressive considering Heyward has been running a fever recently. However, he wasn’t entirely satisfied afterwards, admitting: “It’s nice to come away with something, but unless it’s gold, I’m not happy.”

Another British medal followed in a thrilling women’s 5,000m final as Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen delighted the Munich crowd by clawing back a 20m deficit to Yasemin Can to take gold in 14min 50.47 seconds. But somehow McColgan was able to drag his tired body to a fourth major championship medal of the summer after finishing third.

“This year I arrived with a medal in the open air and I just added four,” he explained. “I can’t even describe what that means. At one point I thought there was gold, but they were really strong.

Jake Heyward celebrates silver in the 1500m.
Jake Heyward celebrates silver in the 1500m. Photo: Martin Meissner/AP

“Everyone thought I was crazy wanting to do the double or triple, but I have four medals and four more medals than at the beginning of the year and I am very proud. Of course I would love to win a European title, but it was always going to be a tough ask after the Commonwealth Games.”

The British success did not end there. A high-quality women’s long jump final saw Sawyers leap to 6.80m on her final jump to take bronze from a tearful Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine. Serbia’s Ivana Vuleta (7.07m) took gold just ahead of local favorite Malaika Mihambo.

“I’ve been wrong all the way,” Sawyers said. “But I knew I had it in me. I was up there on the track thinking, ‘You can’t leave here without a medal.’

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    “The 6.80 m climb, I lose my mind. And then I think, “God, that’s what happened in Berlin four years ago, Maryna went silver and knocked me down to fourth. I’m standing there thinking, ‘What’s she going to do?'” But I hung in there and I am very happy”.

    In another night of high-class action, Nafi Thiam and Gianmarco Tamberi added European gold to their Olympic titles in the heptathlon and high jump.

    Meanwhile, the British team will be hoping to get back on the gold medal train tomorrow with Asher-Smith, Commonwealth gold medalist Laura Muir in the 1500m and Zharnel Hughes in the men’s 200m all hot favourites.

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