Gay sees big future for Gemili

12 July 2012 / 16:33

American Tyson Gay has predicted Britain's Adam Gemili will become one of the greatest sprinters of all time after his "phenomenal" victory in the world junior championships.

Gemili, 18, stormed to victory in Barcelona on Wednesday night, clocking a new personal best and championship record of 10.05 seconds, making him the fastest British junior in history ahead of Dwain Chambers (10.06secs). European champion Christophe Lemaitre is the only European athlete to have run quicker than Gemili all season.

"Phenomenal. It was phenomenal," said Gay, 29, the second fastest man of all time behind Usain Bolt. "Maybe I can get some tips from him because of the great way he executed (the race)."

The former world champion added: "He had a great drive phase, came up patient; he did a lot of things I'm working on which I don't know why it's so hard for me to get. He nailed it, man. And he has a lot more potential in the 200m.

"At 18, that's quite impressive. I think he's going to be around for a while, I think he's going to be one of the greatest sprinters of all time, watching that race. He done it at the big show and that's where it counts."

Gemili only started concentrating fully on athletics at the start of the year after being a promising footballer previously on the books of Chelsea and Dagenham and Redbridge.

And asked what had impressed him most about the Kent athlete's display, Gay added: "First of all, he's just started running. That's probably more impressive than anything, for him to pick up the start, the reaction, the drive phase, the finish, in a year. It wasn't perfect but it was damn near.

"For him to do that in a year shows he is a fast learner. And to be running track you have to be a quick learner. You have to come out the blocks, keep focused, react, keep your head down, all at one time in the big show. For him to be able to do that shows he has some talent.

"He has to keep what he's doing, keep listening to his coach, don't change nothing. Don't listen to all the hype. Just carry on with what you're doing. For this next four years I don't think people should look for him to break the world record but for him to maintain and get better.

"The time he ran is great for his age. If he goes 9.99 next year, then 9.92 and then the 9.8s in a steady progression, that's what he's capable of doing as long as he stays healthy."