Dina Asher-Smith: Olympic gold medalist calls for more research on how periods affect performance


“People don’t always talk about it either because you see girls who have been so consistent and there’s a random dip,” Asher-Smith told BBC Sport.

“Behind the scenes they were really fighting, but on the outside everyone else is like, ‘What is this? This is random’ so it could just use more money.

“I think if it were a man’s issue we would have a million different ways to fight things, but women just need more funding in this area.”

The 26-year-old retired in the 60m on Tuesday, suffering from cramps in her calves and finishing last, but she brushed aside any lingering injury doubts as she returned to the track for the 200m semi-final on Thursday night.

Asher-Smith confidently won her 200m semifinal.

“[It was] girl stuff [on Tuesday]. It was frustrating, but just one of those things,” she told BBC Sport after winning her 200m with a time of 22.53 seconds.

“It’s a shame because I’m in really good shape so I really wanted to come here and run fast but sometimes things just don’t go that way.”

“It’s something I think more people should explore from a sports science perspective because it’s absolutely huge.”

Only 6% of sport and exercise studies have specifically focused on women, Kelly Lee McNulty – a researcher on the effects of the menstrual cycle on exercise – told the BBC in May.

Nonetheless, several female athletes have begun to publicly address the effects of periods on their performance, breaking the taboo that still exists around the topic.

In May, Lydia Ko, the women’s golf world No. 4, was praised for speaking openly about back pain caused by her period during the championship in Palos Verdes. Tennis star Iga Swiatek also spoke about the impact of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) following her loss to Maria Sakkari at the 2021 WTA Finals.
Lydia Ko praised the conversation about the time after the reporter surprised with an honest answer

Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill recently launched her own fitness app that integrates menstrual cycle tracking into her workout planning and allows users to train around their cycle.

Asher-Smith will next compete in the 200m final tonight.