Dina Asher-Smith took silver at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar this week – almost six decades after Cudworth woman Hyman claimed silver in the 1960 Rome Olympics. Asher-Smith also won 200m gold.
“It watched it and I thought she was amazing,” said Dorothy, who also won a bronze over 200m in 1960.
“She’s a lovely runner and she comes across as a really, really nice person. I didn’t really think about the fact that I was the last woman to win a medal until I heard it on TV. It’s amazing that is has been 59 years.
"When things like this happen, and your name gets mentioned, you do reminisce about your career. I know that, out and about in Barnsley, people will stop me to say they heard my name on the television. It’s always nice to be remembered.
“Also it is very good to see a British woman competing at the top level of sprinting because it has been quite a long time.”
Dorothy, who also won gold in the European Championships and Commonwealth Games, competed in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan – where Asher-Smith is hoping to win more medals when the games return there next year.
“It is looking good for her next year at the Olympics in Tokyo. “But I just hope she stays fit because, in 1963, I was the fastest in the world but I got a niggle in early 1964 and I didn’t perform to my best in Tokyo.”
Asher-Smith is 23, the age at which Hyman retired from the sport having published an autobiography which was classed as a professional activity and meant she could no longer compete in what was then an amateur sport. It was a glittering career which saw her win BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1963.
Dorothy, now 78, said: “It’s very different now because the sport is Dina’s whole life and her job whereas, in my era, it wasn’t professional and you had to have another job.
“You didn’t have the team around you like they do now. I am not sure I would have liked this era, though. There is a lot of pressure on the runners because they all have sponsors. There are good things and bad things about both eras but I am happy with the career I had.”
The attendances in Doha have been very low, with Asher-Smith completing a lap of honour in a nearly empty stadium, a contrast to the 1960 Olympics in which the athletics was held at the Stadio Olimpico which is still a top-level sporting venue.
“It’s awful to see the empty seats and sad for the runners. In Rome, it was a terrific atmosphere in a packed stadium. “I have brilliant memories from that event which I will always treasure. To win medals at the Olympics as a teenager was amazing.”