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Asher-Smith faces 200m title  defence challenge – Sporting Life

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Defending champion Dina Asher-Smith faces a battle to retain her 200m title at the World Championships.

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Jamaica duo Shericka Jackson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce fired their warnings in Tuesday’s semi-final in Eugene.

Asher-Smith ran a season’s best of 21.96 seconds to finish behind Tamara Clark of the USA in her semi and reach Thursday’s final.

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‘I am really happy with that,’ she said. ‘We knew we had to run this very well so I was really happy to get second. I didn’t actually know if I came first or third so I was just waiting.

‘We came . sharp because it is the World Championships, we are always ready to go and that is just part of the job – navigating your way through the rounds and making it into the final. That is also part of the skill.

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‘I’m happy that we’ve got a day break so I can rest, recuperate, focus and get ready to go again, just a bit faster.’

Jackson holds the world lead of 21.55 seconds with Asher-Smith likely to need to smash her own British record of 21.88 seconds which she posted winning in Doha three years ago to stand a chance of keeping her title.

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Jackson’s effort was the second fastest time in the world this year and 12th quickest in history. Sunday’s 100m champion Fraser-Pryce impressed again despite slowing down before the line.

Asher-Smith came fourth, behind a Jamaica clean sweep, in the 100m final on Sunday despite equalling her British record of 10.83 seconds.

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Great Britain captain Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ran 20.30 seconds in the men’s 200m semi-final and failed to progress with Joe Ferguson also out. New 100m champion Fred Kerley appeared to suffer a hamstring injury in the same heat and was knocked out.

READ ALSO Semenya welcome at world champs, says Coe

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Mitchell-Blake said: ‘Championships are gruelling. I can’t complain about the race load because some people have doubled. It’s nice to be in an environment again w. I’m competing with the best and I feel like my best is yet to come.’

Jessie Knight reached the semi-final of the 400m hurdles but t. was no place for Lina Nielsen.

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Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos took the 400m hurdles crown, Australia’s Eleanor Patterson won the women’s high jump title and Slovenia’s Kristjan Ceh the men’s discus.

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