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Daryll Neita – British sprinting star seeks legendary ‘GOAT’ status

Image courtesy of Getty Images / British Athletics

“I want to be the best in the world, I want records, I want to be the best of all time and to be remembered in the history books,” Daryll Neita tells the Women’s Sports Alliance.

Bold statements delivered by a bold athlete. Her recent achievements suggest she has the ability to achieve those astounding ambitions.

At the age of 26 she is already a seasoned medal-winning sprinter, having claimed Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth relay honours during a stunning six-year span.

Over the last 12 months though Daryll has now become an individual contender and followed up European, as well as Commonwealth, 100m bronze medals with a dazzling 60m UK Indoor title in the middle of February.

Britain’s latest ‘golden girl’ on the track is seeking to sustain that success.

“I feel like last year especially was amazing because I was achieving so much on the track,” she tells the WSA. “I could see that all my hard work and dedication pay off.

“Nothing can beat that feeling of success and getting out what you know you’ve put in, but I want even more and I’m climbing to the top.”


Her potential was spotted at a young age with Neita’s uncle informing Daryll’s mother, Suzie, that she had an “Olympic medallist” as a daughter – he had just witnessed the then three-tear-old running in the park.

The sprinter would go on to claim age-group and English Schools honours, but like many talented teens she faced something of a dilemma when it came to choosing her next step.

“It's funny because I felt like I started track mainly because I was good at it and it was something my family really pushed me to do,” she recalls.

“I got to around 15-16 and I didn't know if I wanted to be partying with my friends or if I wanted to take my sport seriously, so I was at a bit of a crossroads.

“My brother was the one that sat me down and was like, ‘you can really do something in this if you put your head down work hard’ and that made a difference.”

European junior success would follow and in 2015 Neita received her first senior British international call-up for the World Championships in Beijing, China.

Image courtesy of Getty Images / British Athletics

She was a reserve for the 4x100m relay and missing out on the opportunity to take to the track proved to be a defining moment for the sprinter who turned 19 during the event.

“I was a naturally talented kid, I'd win a lot, but when I started to not win so much that's when I really felt the pain and that made me say ‘actually, I want to be the best at this’ and I feel I’ve been on this journey ever since,” she states.

“Not being selected to run in the relay in Beijing made me think ‘okay, no, next year I’m going to go for individual and relay (places).’

“So in 2016 I made sure I qualified for the 100m, my first-ever senior championships and then won a medal, which changed my life.”


Olympic bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics was secured by running the fourth leg in the women’s 4x100m relay final.

It proved to be a springboard for future success with further relay honours following at the 2017 and 2019 Worlds (two silvers), 2018 Europeans (gold) and Tokyo 2020 Olympics (bronze).

“I don't even think I was ready to understand what was going to come with that (Rio Olympic medal), but into the next (Olympic) cycle there were lots of relay medals which I was so grateful for and it really prepped me for individual success,” she says.

“During the Covid-19 period, I had a lot of time to decide what I wanted for myself, who I was as an athlete and what I wanted to achieve coming out of lockdown.

“Everything was focused on making the Olympic (100m) final and I did everything in my power to make that happen.

“Although it didn’t happen it really motivated me to pick up (bronze) medals in the Commonwealth Games and the Europeans (in 2022).”


Neita’s 60m indoor personal best (PB) of 7.05 seconds and 100m PB of 10.90 secs puts her second on the relevant UK all-time lists behind Dina Asher-Smith.

The 2019 200m World champion is an athlete she sees as an obvious rival but also as a team-mate who motivated and encouraged her during their many shared relay successes.

“It’s been amazing being part of the relay and throughout that time I always had Dina who was having her individual successes as well,” she recalls.

“For me, it was very inspiring to see what she was doing on a global stage on her own and it was great motivation for me.

“It definitely made me want to challenge, compete on the world stage individually as my own name and be on that podium alone too.”


Image courtesy of Getty Images / British Athletics

Neita has attained at least one major medal each year since joining the senior ranks but admits there have been “tough times” during her career where she has struggled.

She hopes her sustained success inspires young girls who now watch her sprint – and succeed – on the biggest stage.

“There are days when training is so hard and you can’t move, you’re tired, you question things and there are so many emotions throughout the season,” she tells the WSA.

“When you start doing well though, after all the work you’ve put in, it’s the best feeling ever though!”

Neita, who aims to maintain her medal-winning run at the World Indoor Tour Final in Birmingham this weekend before taking to the track at European Indoor Championships in March, continues; “Perseverance and passion is really important.

“As is having that determination not to stop until you achieve your goal.

“Challenge yourself, challenge the world,” she says. “When things knock you off course use that as fuel for the fire and keep going.”


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