The focus that drives an athletic star

Rising star: Asher-Smith says that she is proud to be a role model.

Is self-discipline the key to success? Dina Asher-Smith isn’t just a brilliant runner. She is also a model, a writer and a gifted student. Even as a young child, she was fiercely determined.

What’s happening

Dina Asher-Smith has had a very good week.

At the World Athletics Championships in Doha, the 23-year-old sprinter won gold in the women’s 200-metre race and two silver medals in other events.

This means that she is now the first Briton to win three medals at a major athletics’ tournament.

Find out more

Dina Asher-Smith started running at primary school, when a friend promised to buy her an ice cream if she came along to running club.

Soon, she was winning medals.

Aged 17, she won bronze in 4 x 100 metres relay in her first World Championships. Two years later, when she was still a teenager, Asher-Smith became the first British woman to run 100 metres in under 11 seconds.

While she was breaking records on the track, Asher-Smith was working just as hard at school.

She got 10 A*s in her GCSEs and, later, a degree in History from King’s College London, a top university.

Asher-Smith has also worked as a model and written articles in magazines. She is talented in many different ways.

Is sports the key to success?

Some say…

Yes. To be good at sports, you need to put in many long, hard hours of practice. All that hard work makes you more resilient, focused and disciplined — skills that will help you in every area of your life, whether you are studying for exams or working at a busy job. Being a great athlete will make you a more successful person.

Others think…

No. Sports is not any more important than playing a tricky game like chess, or learning a new language. There are lots of ways that we can learn to work hard and discipline ourselves. The important thing is that we learn these skills. It does not matter how we do it.

You Decide

  1. Who is your sporting role model?


  1. What three questions would you ask Dina Asher-Smith if you got the chance to talk to her? Write them down and share them with your friends.

Some People Say...

“Sports not only build better athletes but also better people.”

Julie Foudy, former US Women’s Team soccer player

What do you think?

Word Watch

An athlete who runs very fast over a short distance.
Someone from Great Britain.
Primary school
Schools in the UK for children aged four to 11.
A place where people can study after leaving school. Universities give out certificates called degrees.
A person who poses for photographs, usually to advertise clothes.
When you recover from setbacks quickly.
Able to follow a strict set of rules.


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