With a sideline in modelling to complement the knowledge acquired from her history degree, Dina Asher-Smith has learned to parade majestically along the catwalk like a gazelle.

High-class fashion and a first-class degree, the 23-year-old is a fusion of brains and poise.

Life in this increasingly fast lane suits her well. Yet it is on the track where she is cut from the richest of cloths. And, at the World Athletics Championships in Doha last night, the UK’s sprinter supreme captured gold in the women’s 200 metres, lowering her own UK record to 21.88 seconds in the process.

It was a mere one-hundredth of a second quicker than she’d gone before but it was enough.

The USA’s Brittany Brown was 0.36 secs adrift in securing silver, with Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji taking bronze.

“I’m not sure if it’s ever going to sink in,” Asher-Smith said. “It’s been about growth and doing the best I can every year and improving results. To be at the point I am now, being world champion means so much.”

Asher-Smith is the first British woman ever to earn a global sprint title.

Her cause was rendered a little simpler by withdrawals and absenteeism from noteworthy foes, including the Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson, and fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who relegated the Briton into silver in the 100m last weekend.

“How do I take this onto the Olympics?” asked Asher-Smith. “I haven’t collated that thought yet. But, even if I’d not won today or these championships hadn’t gone to plan, I start every new season looking to find ways to improve, leaving no stone unturned and working really really hard.”

Only Laura Muir rivals Asher-Smith as the face of British athletics.

On show for the first time since tearing her calf 10 weeks ago, the Scot was able to ease herself gently back into action by taking third in the heats of the 1500m in 4:07.37.

This was a painless return and a harsher examination of her readiness awaits in this evening's semi-final.

“It was so good to be out there and feel like myself and be like ‘oh, I can still run’,” confirmed the European champion, who was one place behind her training partner in Glasgow, Gabi Stafford.

“I was just fortunate I knew what the first heat was run in and that was fast. So we knew I had to be in the top six and not mess around.”

Whatever Muir might accomplish, shadows have been cast over this event. Her principal threat, Sifan Hassan, won the initial heat, 36 hours after her coach Alberto Salazar was banned from the sport following an investigation into doping.

The Dutchwoman insists she has a “clean conscience”.

“No matter what the circumstances I’m going to race,” Muir maintained. “Whoever is there is up to other people.”

Northern Ireland’s Ciara Mageean and England’s Sarah McDonald also advanced but Jemma Reekie’s challenge in Doha was brief and brutal. The Scottish prospect collected European Under-23 gold this summer but here she ended tenth and off the pace.

“I should be running a lot better than that from training,” the 21-year-old reflected. “But it wasn’t mean to be.”

Katarina Johnson-Thompson went through similarly horrific growing pains before a vibrant recalibration. The 26-year-old Liverpudlian will enter the second day of the heptathlon with a precious cushion of 96 points over her Belgian foe Nafi Thiam, the fruit of personal bests in two out of four events.

European indoor champion in Glasgow in March, she whizzed through the 100m hurdles in 13.09 secs.

Equalling Thiam’s mark of 1.95m in the high jump, Johnson-Thompson exceeded past limits with a 13.86m mark in the shot put. And finally a 200m dash in 23.09 secs took her to 4138 points, her finest-ever day one output.

At last year’s Europeans in Berlin, her advantage over Thiam totalled 87. Ultimately, she was overhauled by the reigning world and Olympic champion but she senses a vital opportunity.

“Why not? It’s something that I’m aiming to do,” she proclaimed “Something that I’m in shape to do and I’m in a very good position to do it.”

Sophie McKinna became the first British woman since 1983 to reach the shot put final by qualifying third with a personal best of 18.61m.

However Andrew Pozzi, an outside medal prospect, was ousted in the semis of the 110m hurdles with the USA’s Grant Holloway later claiming gold. “Just messy from start to finish,” he reflected.