All told, she’ll be going hard for somewhere around 100 seconds. A couple less across her six races and she’ll have a medal, possibly two. A couple more and it’s likely she won’t.
They’re the margins for Dina Asher- Smith now. They’re the blurry differences that will decide if it happens for her or it doesn’t; if these were the Olympics where she became Britain’s first female sprint medallist since 1960, or if they weren’t.
So here we are, five days shy of the first gun of her Olympic 100m mission, nine short of the last of her push to win the 200m.
Dina Asher-Smith doesn't have any fears as she prepares to go for glory at the OlympicsInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
There are stronger medal shots in the wider Team GB cohort in Tokyo, such as Adam Peaty, and there are repeat champions like Jason and Laura Kenny, Jade Jones, Helen Glover and Charlotte Dujardin.
But it’s awfully hard to imagine any of them will operate under the same level of attention in Britain as Asher-Smith when she contests the sprints in the foremost sport of the Olympics.
For that reason, it was interesting to chat with her this week, and particularly when the 200m world champion referenced several exchanges she had at Heathrow as she went to board her British Airways flight on Tuesday.
A number of airline staff took to asking if she was nervous, and the responses were consistent. ‘I was like, “No, what is there to be nervous about?”’ she explained. ‘Obviously this is on a different scale but I line up for a race and I’ve done that since I was eight years old and I’m very, very good at it.’
A later comment: ‘It’s not daunting, simply because I’m inside my own body. I know what I can do. ‘Everybody has their predictions written down on paper, but we don’t run on paper, we run on the track. It’s the championships that really matter.’
It’s usual at these points to attempt to spy for the clues, those little tells of how an athlete is riding the head-squeezing days before the contests that define them. But Asher-Smith isn’t known for giving much away.
Asher-Smith is confident as she aims to be Britain’s first female sprint Olympic medallist since 1960
She isn’t one who media folk would generally consider prone to a bombastic comment on sporting matters — she is quite cautious, guarded even. Which is fine, of course, but there has also