It’s tough to know what was going through the mind of former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville when he decided to try and match strides with current 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith. Predictably, though, the idea did not end well for him.
The 46-year-old now makes his living as a pundit for various media outlets, having hung up his boots more than a decade ago. Despite this, Neville clearly still fancied his chances of not being completely disgraced on the track by Asher-Smith, who is among the leading contenders for both the 100m and 200m sprint events at this summer’s Olympic Games.
Prior to the 25-year-old Londoner jetting out to Tokyo with the rest of Team GB, she appeared as a guest on Neville’s YouTube channel The Overlap. As part of his visit to Asher-Smith’s training camp, Neville lined up against her in a 40m sprint drill. Even with a 10m head-start, it was never going to be much of a contest – and the former Valencia boss was in trouble within metres.
“Oh no! I knew it would go. It was always going to go,” exclaims Neville, after pulling his hamstring within seconds of setting off.
Although he had been put through a proper warm-up, the ex-United man then cheekily tries to pass the blame to Asher-Smith’s coach John Blackie.
“Coach, you didn’t warm me up properly,” jibes Neville. “Coach of the Year? He’s pulled my hamstring!”
You can see footage of the doomed experiment here…
Speaking before Neville hurt himself, Asher-Smith told of her excitement at the challenge awaiting her in Toyko.
“I love racing. It is exciting mainly because I love Championships, and it is not that I am particularly excited for an outcome – because nobody has a crystal ball, nobody can anticipate what the season is going to be like, what anything is going to be like – but I just love a challenge,” she stated.
The Tokyo Olympics 2021 gets underway on Wednesday July 21, with the track and field portion of the Games commencing on Friday July 30. Of course, you’ll be able to find all of the latest news from the Olympics right here at GiveMeSport.