Gemili eyes pre-Olympic boost

09 July 2012 / 18:43

Teenage sprinter Adam Gemili is hoping to emulate the success enjoyed by fellow Britons Christian Malcolm, Mark Lewis-Francis and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey when he continues his Olympic preparations at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona this week.

Gemili was last week named in the 71-strong Team GB squad for this summer's Games after finishing second to Dwain Chambers at the Olympic trials in June.

The former footballer has exploded on to the scene this year and leads the UK rankings with a time of 10.08 seconds, and he will be firm favourite for 100m gold at Barcelona's 1992 Olympic Stadium this week, with the heats taking place on Tuesday and the semi-final and final being held on Wednesday.

If he achieves that, he would become the fourth Briton to do it after Malcolm (1998), Lewis-Francis (2000) and Aikines-Aryeetey (2006).

"Obviously those three others are amazing in what they've done," said Gemili. "They've come to the junior champs and done so well. I look up to them. Hopefully I will follow in their footsteps."

Gemili, who was on the books of Chelsea, Reading and Dagenham and Redbridge until he decided to concentrate on athletics in January, added on "At the start of the year the World Junior Championships was my main aim. The Olympics was just a massive bonus and I'm still focusing on the World Juniors now.

"I've come here to do as well as I can. Me and my coach (Michael Afilaka) have worked really really hard so that I can do the best I can and hopefully maintain it to the Olympic Games and do well there also."

Having run 10.08 already this year, the World Junior Championships 100m record of 10.09 set by Trinidad and Tobago's Darrel Brown in Jamaica in 2002 could be under threat, but Gemili preferred not to make any predictions.

"I'm not looking to talking times. I want to execute my race and perform well. If I do that I will be happy," he said.

"The last month or so has been really hectic and manic but I've enjoyed every moment of it and enjoyed showing people what I can do and how I can run."