Ato Boldon talks to the effervescent Dina Asher-Smith for the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics.

“I’m always either in school or running.” Collegiate athletes the world over can relate with Dina Asher-Smith. The history student at King’s College London is also one of the hottest sprinting prospects on the planet.

A self-confessed “ball of energy”, the Brit has barely paused for breath since the 2013 Moscow World Championships, where she won 4x100m bronze while still just 17. The next summer she shocked the Eugene crowd to take world junior gold in the 100m ahead of US favourite Kaylin Whitney (who won bronze).

Last year she finished fifth in the 200m final of the Beijing World Championships. The youngest in the field by some measure, she came home in a national record 22.07 – a time that would have won her gold in all but five world champs throughout history.

Like the rest of us, Ato Boldon wants to know how Asher-Smith has done it all while maintaining a fantastic academic record and with an unfaltering smile on her face.

“I think it’s because I’m quite relaxed about everything,” she says, adding: “I take each day as it comes, each race as it comes and each training session as it comes.”

The 20-year-old says she’s “always loved running”. Her race day philosophy is simple: “have fun and try your best”.

Racing is, of course, more enjoyable when you win. Asher-Smith wins a lot, most recently in Stockholm, where she became the first British woman to win a Diamond League 200m. Again the youngest in the field, she breazed to victory in 22.72. It was her outdoor season opener; a performance of unnerving maturity in disgusting weather.

So she’s dreaming of the Rio podium, right?

“I don’t even allow myself to think about the Olympics. Full stop.” Ah, there’s that British realism we all love. “There are so many things that you’ve got to be able to do before you can even get to the trials. As I said, I take things one step at a time.”

Asher-Smith is all about the bigger picture. She doesn’t study history to pursue good grades, but because she likes to learn “how we got to where we are today”. Similarly, her drive on the track is not the hunt for swag, but a need for speed.

“What motivates me, what keeps me going, is the idea of getting faster and faster and faster and faster and having fun with it.”

Having fun is one thing, completing the task is quite another. “Focusing on your lane, your race, and getting things done,” as Asher-Smith puts it.

“Whether or not that ends in a medal is another thing – another saga! You’ve got loads of other girls to worry about then!”

And most likely an essay to write back at the hotel.

In the full episode, Asher-Smith explains what she likes about different sprint distances and why junk food burns her soul. Watch it below: