The European 4x100m gold medallist ran 22.88 for 200m at the Stockholm Diamond League
After running 22.88 for third in the BAUHAUS-galan 200m on Thursday (June 16), Desiree Henry spoke of her relief and delight at running a personal best time.
The race was won by Henry’s compatriot Dina Asher-Smith, with the British record-holder clocking 22.72 ahead of Jamaica’s Simone Facey.
“Oh my goodness, I was so relieved,” said the 20-year-old, who also set a 100m PB of 11.06 in April for a mark which currently leads the UK rankings. “I was just concentrating on executing my race but when I saw the winning time I thought I must be close enough.
“I am thrilled with the PB and it shows that I am maturing so much as an athlete. I am not running for times but concentrating on execution and it is paying off nicely.”
Asked whether there was any one change she had made this year to account for her excellent form, Henry said that it was a down to a combination of little things. “I have taken it more seriously this year,” she said. “Taking in water every day and making sure I’m taking all my vitamins and getting enough sleep at night. I think that all those small pieces are the things that are really making the difference for me.”
Coached by Rana Reider, Henry is based at the Dutch Olympic Centre in Papendal near Arnheim, where she trains with athletes including Tiffany Porter, Shara Proctor and Christian Taylor.
“Papendal is a great place to train,” she said. “The people are lovely and the facilities are great and for someone who is British to be allowed to train there and be treated as one of their own is a great feeling. I’m just pleased to have Netherlands behind me.”
Diplomatically, she explained that it will be up to her coach if she runs the 200m as well as the 100m at the British trials for the Rio Olympics next weekend but added: “After today’s performance I am thinking, ‘why not?'”
She is also keen to run in the European Championships and expressed her hope that “after my performance today the selectors will have enough belief in me that I can double up and select me for the Europeans.”