World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith says she was “relieved” when the 2020 Olympics was postponed and feels the rejigged calendar presents athletics with vital alternatives.
The British sprinter was a medal hope on the Tokyo Games, which moved to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
World Championships will observe in 2022 and 2023, earlier than the 2024 Olympics.
“We have never had a period where we have four global events back to back,” Asher-Smith informed Eddie Hearn’s podcast.
Speaking on BBC Sounds’ No Passion No Point podcast, the 24-year-old added: “I think athletics, especially in the UK, has an opportunity in this period. In terms of the long-term future of athletics, weirdly I think as a sport it has one of the biggest opportunities because of the reshuffle.”
In the aftermath of successful World Championship silver over 100m and her 200m gold in 2019, four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson stated different athletes would “have Dina Asher-Smith in mind” as they ready for the Tokyo Games.
Asher-Smith stated: “When it was postponed I remember weirdly feeling personally relieved. That sounds strange for an athlete to say but I remember that day it was postponed, all gyms were shut, tracks were shut, I had no access to physios, no access for biomechanics and I had no idea of how I would train to an Olympic standard from inside my flat. In the weirdest sense I was relieved.
“I’m personally OK with it being postponed; one, due to the circumstances and, two, as a result of as a crew it has given us the posh to step again and say now we’ve extra time.”
Hearn’s podcast seeks to explore the mindset of successful people in their field and Asher-Smith opened up about the influence of her parents and her own use of kaizen – a Japanese concept which focuses on continuous improvement.
The former world Junior champion says she has incorporated kaizen into the training that has seen her become the fastest British woman in history over 100m and 200m.
“If you do not know the primary three steps of the Olympic ultimate, you’ll be able to kiss it goodbye,” she added.
“It’s a really trustworthy sport. If you have not been coaching, consuming the fitting meals or lifting the fitting weights, or in case your thoughts shouldn’t be in it, there may be nowhere to cover. You will likely be uncovered, will probably be seen and the results won’t be good.”