Stick to the media, Gary? Manchester United and England legend Neville pulls his hamstring as he races Team GB gold-medal sprint hopeful Dina Asher-Smith ahead of Tokyo Olympics – and he did it with a 10m head-start!
It’s fair to say that, 10 years since he retired from football, Gary Neville isn’t the athlete he once was – and he reaffirmed that idea recently when trying to take on sprint sensation Dina Asher-Smith.
The 200m world champion is one of the gold-medal favourites at the Tokyo Olympics at that distance as well as the 100m.
Ahead of flying to Japan, Neville took part in a sprint session with Asher-Smith to get an insight into her preparations – although it went very awry, very quickly.
Gary Neville was in pain as he pulled a hamstring trying to race sprint star Dina Asher-Smith
Neville was given a 10m head-start as he took on the fastest-ever woman in Britain (left)
However, she quickly caught up with Neville – who is 21 years her senior – during the sprint drill
As she caught up with the 46-year-old his left hamstring went causing him to stop partaking
After undergoing a vigorous warm-up, the pair were part of a group who participated in 40m sprint drills.
Going from a standing start, the 46-year-old Neville was blitzed by Britain’s fastest-ever woman.
With her coach John Blackie watching on, Neville was afforded a 10m head-start in the next race but it didn’t matter.
Within a matter of seconds the 25-year-old had caught Neville; but it got worse for the latter as he pulled his left hamstring in the process of trying to sustain his pace.
Despite the pain, Neville could see the funny side of it as he blamed Blackie for not warming him up properly.
‘Coach, you didn’t warm me up properly,’ he laughed. ‘Coach of the Year? He’s pulled my hamstring!’
Neville could be seen clutching his left hamstring after injuring himself during the sprint drill
Despite the injury, the former footballer could see the funny side of it as he blamed her coach
Neville’s time on the track with Asher-Smith was part of his interview with her on his Sky Bet show The Overlap.
Asher-Smith is part of a 76-member Team GB squad due to take part in the Olympics later this month against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It will be the second Games of her career after finishing fifth in the 200m at Rio in 2016 but she is relishing the challenge of faring better in Tokyo.
‘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 said.
Asher-Smith will be a gold medal hopeful in the 100m and 200m at the Tokyo Olympics
‘I am really excited, the thing for me that I always love about sprinting is that it is like an adrenaline rush.
‘Everybody can be on Instagram and social media like “hashtag eat, sleep, repeat, I lifted this today, working so hard, hashtag workout Wednesday”. You can do all that, you can say all that, but when it comes down to that, let’s see.
‘What are you made of? When the gun goes and when you step up, how much nerve do you have? This is the moment, if it is not now, when? That’s what I love about racing.’