Julie, a human resources manager, and Winston, a mechanical engineer, have been on every step of her journey to become the new poster girl of British athletics. Yesterday Dina, 23, told how the couple cheered from the sidelines as she raced in windswept parks and tracks before competing in major arenas worldwide. She said: “My mum and dad have been to every single one. Schools, national athletics league, junior competitions, all the way to the World Championships and Olympics.”
Dina told how on one occasion her mother turned up out of the blue at a race in Oregon in the US. She joked: “I heard these high heels on the track and thought ‘Oh my God, Mum’s here!”
Dina said it was her parents, along with coach John Blackie who has guided her since she was eight, who gave her the belief to succeed.
She added: “I have dreamed of this and now it’s real. Everybody keeps saying world champion, world title, but it hasn’t sunk in and honestly I don’t think it ever will.”
Born Geraldina in Orpington, south London, Dina is the only child of the couple from Jamaica.
She dived, played hockey and swam as a child while also learning the trumpet and euphonium and attending Brownies.
When her primary school started a running club she wasn’t keen to join before a friend offered an incentive.
She said: “She said if I came with her, she’d buy me an ice cream.”
Gina got her A-Level results during the 2014 European Championships.
Her three As got her a place studying history at King’s College, London, where she still trained for up to four hours a day, six days a week before graduating with first-class honours in 2017.
This year Dina moved into a flat just 10 minutes away.
On the day she left her father was upset when he saw her mattress being carried out.
She said: “He was like, ‘What? You’re not going to be sleeping here?’ My parents gave me everything. And I know not everyone has had that in life.”
Now the athlete wants to emulate Mo Farah and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill who she saw win Olympic golds at London 2012 when she was carrying kit for the stars.
She said: “I saw people in the stand crying when they won gold. It made me realise what sport means to the country. I thought ‘I want to give people that feeling’.
“To hold that flag and hear the crowd. And to inspire more girls. Nothing else matters.”