Athletics-Briton Asher-Smith calls for more research into how periods affect performance

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Women's 200 Metres - Final - Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - July 21, 2022 Bronze medallist Britain's Dina Asher-Smith celebrates after the women's 200 metres final REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

(Reuters) - Dina Asher-Smith has called for more funding for studies on how a woman's period can affect athletic performance after the British sprinter pulled up with cramp during her 100 metres title defence at the European Championships in Munich.

Asher-Smith pulled up midway through Tuesday's race with cramp in her calf and finished last. The 26-year-old returned to action later in the week to qualify for Friday's 200m final.

"Yeah, girl stuff, issues," Asher-Smith told British media. "It's something more people need to research from a sports science perspective, because it's absolutely huge.

"Women don't talk about it either. We see girls that have been consistent have a random dip. Behind the scenes they are really struggling, while everyone is thinking, 'What's that? That's random'. We just need more funding.

"I feel like if it was a men's issue there would be a million different ways to combat things. But with women there just needs to be more funding in that area."

Tennis world number one Iga Swiatek had also addressed the issue at this year's French Open, saying advances in medicine and technology can provide solutions to women athletes.

New Zealand's world number four women's golfer Lydia Ko was praised online during the Palos Verdes Championship earlier this year after she openly discussed suffering back problems during the tournament due to her period.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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