After pulling up with cramps brought on by her period while defending her 100-meter championship at the European Championship, British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith advocated for increased funding for research into the effects of menstruation on sports performance.
People “don’t always talk about it” because, according to Asher-Smith, “you see girls that have been so consistent and there is a random dip.”
Although they have been working really hard behind the scenes, everyone else is asking, “What’s that? That’s random, so perhaps it simply needs more financing.
“If it were a men’s problem, we would have a million different ways to deal with it, but with women, we merely need more financing in that area,” the speaker said.
The 26-year-old pulled up 60 meters into the race on Tuesday because to cramps in her calves and came in last, but she dispelled any lingering injury concerns on Thursday night when she returned to the track for the 200-meter semifinals.
“On Tuesday, it was feminine stuff. After winning her 200-meter heat in 22.53 seconds, she told BBC Sport that it was frustrating but just one of those things.
It’s a shame because I was hoping to come here and run quickly because I’m in great shape, but sometimes things don’t work out that way.
Because it is so significant, more people ought to actually research it from a sports science standpoint, in my opinion.
Kelly Lee McNulty, a researcher studying the impact of the menstrual cycle on exercise, told the BBC in May that only 6% of sport and exercise studies had particularly focused on women.
However, a few of female athletes have started talking openly about how their periods affect their performance, breaking the stigma that still surrounds the topic.
Women’s golf’s No. 4 in the world Lydia Ko was praised in May for being honest about her back issues brought on by her period while competing at the Palos Verdes Championship. Iga Swiatek, a professional tennis player, discussed the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) after losing to Maria Sakkari at the 2021 WTA Finals.
Jessica Ennis-Hill, a gold medalist in the heptathlon at the Olympics, has since released her own fitness software that incorporates menstrual cycle tracking into its training plans and enables users to train around their cycle.
Asher-Smith will next compete tonight in the 200-meter final.
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