Adam Gemili wrote his name into the history books this year but British Athletics’ lead sprints coach Lloyd Cowan admits there is still a long way to go if he is to turn promise into medals.
Since bursting on to the scene at the start of the 2012 outdoor season, Gemili has long been carrying the weight of a nation’s sprinting hopes on his shoulders.
And this summer, while still a teenager, Gemili raised the bar even higher as reached the 200m final at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
En route to finishing fifth in his first major final, Gemili became only the second Briton to dip under 20 seconds by qualifying second-fastest for the showpiece in 19.98 seconds, the fastest ever European teenager to do so.
But while admitting there is plenty of reason to get excited about the leaps Gemili has made this year, Cowan doesn’t want anyone getting too excited until he gets some consistency going.
“I think Steve Fudge and his team learned this year from things they did earlier in the season,” said Cowan, speaking at the UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette.
“They think it will be a great season next year and, at the European Championships, Adam will be a favourite I’m sure.
“At the Commonwealth Games I think it will be different because the Jamaicans can put out a B-string team and they’d still be good enough to get a winning time.
“I think Adam will grow from his experiences, but we need to have some consistency in performances at championship level not what I call at our trials because it’s all about championships at the end of the day.
“If you’ve won here in Britain for the last three years you need to start setting your sights a bit further afield and learning what it takes to win a medal at a championships.”
Having already tasted the Olympic atmosphere at London 2012, reaching the semi-finals, Gemili, now 20-years-old, will be eager to get in on the act again at Rio 2016.
But Cowan insists there is still plenty of work to be done if Britain are to become a force to be reckoned with in sprinting circles in Brazil.
“We’re in a good state but we’ve got to be real, we haven’t got any kids running 9.6seconds in the 100m. So in reality until we find a kid who can run a 9.7, we’re just in a good state,” he added.
“We’ve got James Dasaolu who ran 9.92 in the trials and 9.98 in the World Championships, we’ve got Adam who ran 19.98 at the World Championships in the 200m but they’re still development athletes at this stage.
“I’m more looking at Rio and also Tokyo 2020 for those guys to be established and that’s we’ve got to look forward to.
“Right now, while the Usain Bolt’s are around, the Yohan Blake’s are around, I’m sorry, I’ve got to be real as a coach, it’s going to be a hard job to tackle those guys. They’re running the sort of times our guys may be capable of in three years’ time.”
© Sportsbeat 2013