Gemili sprints into shock Olympic contention

11:57 07 June 2012

Adam Gemili, 18, is the fastest man in Britain

Adam Gemili, 18, is the fastest man in Britain

Archant

Blackheath & Bromley Harriers’ Adam Gemili stuns the athletics world

Adam Gemili became the fastest man in Britain on Saturday and smashed the 100 metres Olympic A qualification standard at the Sparkassen Gala in Germany with just 50 days to go until the Games begin.

The 18-year-old Blackheath & Bromley Harriers sprinter ran an astonishing 10.08 seconds to win in Regensburg, eclipsing his pre-event personal best time of 10.23 – and made light-work of the 10.18 A standard to move into serious contention for London 2012.

Having graduated from promising junior to established senior in the blink of an eye, Gemili now faces an anxious wait to see if he will go to the Games, with a maximum of three sprint spots up for grabs in Team GB.

Only Croydon’s James Dasaolu can claim to have also met the A standard this year, but Dwain Chambers, Christian Malcolm and Mark Lewis-Francis will be among the big names looking to knock the young pair down the pecking order at the Olympic trials in Birmingham later this month.

However, Gemili, from Dartford, insists just having his name mentioned alongside British sprinting’s elite is a dream come true and there will be no hard feelings should he miss out on the Games.

He said: “You always want others to do well. Everyone’s quite close in athletics and I have had a lot of support from other athletes.

“So if someone else runs quicker (in Birmingham) then I won’t be too unhappy. I never expected to be talking about myself in the same sentence as some of the best in the country, let alone run faster than them.

“It’s been surreal since I’ve been home. It’s been quite an experience, with so much attention, but what I have done has now sunk in and registered.

“I prepared no differently to how I have done before. I knew I could be fast and competitive, but I didn’t expect to run anywhere near that time.

“And to do that in only my third senior race of the year is just great, I’m so pleased.”

Gemili’s stunning performance has only been bettered in Europe this year by seasoned Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre.

The European Junior silver medallist’s big hope for 2012 was to add a World Junior medal to his CV when the Championships begin in Barcelona on July 10 – less than three weeks before the Olympic Games.

And Gemili, who is also on the books at League Two club Dagenham & Redbridge, admits he’s given himself a welcome headache.

He added: “My aim this year was to go to the World Junior Championships.

“The trials are only a week before the Olympic trials and the Championships are just before the Olympics, so it’s put me in a difficult position now – a nice position though.”

Ticketless for the Olympics, Gemili was preparing to watch the much-hyped 100m competition on television.

Now he could be running in the lane next to Usain Bolt.

Gemili said: “Could you imagine that?! It would be amazing.

“I’m not getting carried away though. I will just carry on training hard, get my schoolwork done, then wait and see.”

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