'I'm just living the dream' - Beth Dobbin reacts after Olympic sprint semi-final exit

Beth Dobbin felt out of her league in the next lane to Elaine Thompson-Herah but knows her Tokyo Olympic experience will equip her well.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 6:21 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 6:52 pm
Beth Dobbin looks on after competing in the women's 200 metres semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

The Doncaster sprinter produced an equal season's best to advance from Monday morning's 200m heats but struggled in her semi that evening, finishing fifth in 22.85.

Dobbin admits she had stars in her eyes running in the next lane to Olympic 100m champion Thompson-Herah and two across from world leader Gabrielle Thomas.

"I don't feel like I belong in that company if I'm honest!" said the 27-year-old.

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(l-r) Elaine Thompson-Herah, Beth Dobbin, Crystal Emmanuel, Gabrielle Thomas, Gina Bass, Christine Mboma and Rafalia Spanoudaki-Chatziriga compete in the women's 200m semi-finals. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

"It feels so bizarre. I do have to pinch myself every time I run with these girls, but I am getting more used to it.

"This year's been the first year when I've been on the Diamond League circuit and it's been really good to get that experience.

"This morning that helped me a lot because it didn't faze me I was running with Elaine. I've done it a few times now. These girls are my idols and I'm just living the dream."

Dobbin's 2019 personal best came at the London Stadium in a race with Thompson-Herah, proving she can produce the goods when pitted against the world's best.

She actually ran quicker than the Jamaican in 36-degree morning heat, equalling the 22.78 season's best she ran to win the European Team Championships in May.

But producing the same and better eight hours later proved too much to ask for an athlete for whom the Games are just her second major global event.

"I would have liked slightly quicker after my heat felt really controlled and comfortable. I did come off the bend and my legs felt quite heavy," said Dobbin.

"I don't know if it's the two rounds in a day that I'm not quite used to. It is the same for everyone, I just don't have the experience to get through that.

"Seeing the times that got to the final makes me feel a bit better because even if I'd ran my personal best it wouldn’t have been enough."

"If the semi was tomorrow, that would have made a big difference. Such a long gap in between, it's just not something I'm used to.

"I definitely am in personal best shape, I eased down a bit in the heat. It's just a shame I couldn't do that."

Dobbin has been named as part of Team GB's 4x100m relay squad, due to compete in heats on Thursday.

The chance to train with Dina Asher-Smith - subject to fitness - and 100m Olympic finalist Darryl Neita in the relay pool has enthused the Yorkshire star.

"I'm really new to the team so I'm very inexperienced compared to the girls," she said.

"Ashleigh (Nelson) made her first Olympics in 2008. It's just experience for me and learning.

"If I get to run that's great, but if not, it's been a good learning process. We've had some really good camps out here and the girls have all been great to me."

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