DINA ASHER-SMITH has devoted herself absolutely to the pursuit of excellence at these world championships. A challenge to conquer. Medals up for grabs, three of them, to be precise, requiring few indulgences and concentration on the cause. And in Doha last night, the 23-year-old was rewarded with silver in the women’s 100 metres, with two further opportunities still to come to upgrade to gold.

Her British record was lowered to 10.83 seconds in a blistering turn of speed. Only Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce strode ahead with the Jamaican earning her fourth world title with a time of 10.71. No disgrace. “That is why she has won so many titles and is an absolute legend,” Asher-Smith affirmed.

Time is on her side. Long touted for greatness, the European champion has accomplished much already this year. It was all geared to this. To producing when it mattered most.

“It’s a long season and it is easy to get carried away with the smaller achievements along the way, be it winning the Diamond League final or running well throughout the season,” Asher-Smith declared. “It is quite easy to get caught up in the hype and forget what you are going for. It’s all about these championship moments so for me, it’s been about staying focused, making sure my training is tailored towards this and remember to keep your eye on the prize.”

Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou took bronze but Asher-Smith became the first Briton to poach a global 100m medal since Dorothy Hyman collected Olympic silver in Rome 59 years ago.

She now has momentum, heading into the 200m today and a relay beyond that. “I would have loved to have won,” she added. “But Shelly-Ann did a fantastic performance. That is why she has so many titles and is a legend.”

Zoey Clark narrowly missed out on her second world championship medal in the mixed 4x400 relay as GB&NI’s bid for bronze in its inaugural edition was thwarted at the last.

The 24-year-old Aberdonian, now a reliable contributor on the major stage, elevated her quartet into third place with a relentless second leg.

An untidy baton change between Emily Diamond and Martyn Rooney ultimately doomed their chances. The veteran threw everything he possibly could into charging down the home straight but he could only do enough to come fourth. “Obviously, it’s pretty devastating to miss a medal but we improved our time from the semi and it’s another European record,” said Clark, who will run the women’s 4x400 next weekend. “We’re still learning the event.”

The United States claimed victory, providing Allyson Felix with a slice of history as she overtook Usain Bolt to pick up a record 12th world gold. The only shame was that so few were there to witness the accomplishment on a night of spartan crowds, with organisers forced to ditch a ban on allowing fans to bring water inside despite 40C heat outside. “It’s disappointing that the stadium’s not full,” Clark added. “But it was a good atmosphere and it’s still exciting to take part.”

Holly Bradshaw’s quest for a medal in the pole vault fell short too as the Lancastrian was marooned in fourth with the Englishwoman denied on her one and only attempt at 4.90 metres. The 27-year-old, who claimed Euro indoor silver in Glasgow in March, was just short one centimetre shy of her outdoor personal best of 4.80m but was out of contention as Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia surpassed 4.95m on her third attempt to snatch gold.

Adam Gemili safely joined team-mates Zharnel Hughes and Miguel Francis in tonight’s 200m semis by pulling out his quickest time in three years. A chase for redemption, the Londoner acknowledged, after he was forced to watch Christian Coleman win Saturday’s 100 metres from the sidelines following his semi-final exit on Saturday that stung him deeply.

“I had a big rant for 10 minutes,” said Gemili who advanced quickest in 20.06 secs. “My coach was like great, we’ll park it, address it later. ‘We’ve got a job to do tomorrow’. I’ve spoken to my psychologist and I’m feeling in a good mind. Although imperious American Noah Lyles still lurks, the cause of the three Britons was assisted by the withdrawal from the 200m of Coleman, citing soreness.

Elsewhere, the British trio of Jamie Webb, Kyle Langford and Elliot Giles all exited the 800 metres in the semis while Christian Taylor earned his fourth world title in the triple jump.