Adam Gemili believes a World Athletics Championships medal is within his reach after he wrote his name into the record books in storming into the 200m final in Moscow.
The 19-year-old’s maiden senior World Championships had already gotten off to a flyer as he recorded a new personal best of 20.17 seconds to win his heat on Friday morning.
However Gemili was far from done, returning to the Luzhniki Stadium hours later to win his semi-final in 19.98, only the second Brit after John Regis to dip under 20 seconds and first ever European teenager.
And despite being set to line up against the likes of sprint king Usain Bolt and London 2012 bronze medallist Warren Weir, Gemili doesn’t see why a medal can’t be his for the taking.
“I was in shock going over the line and seeing the time, I was looking around and I didn’t quite realise it was me that had won it until I looked up on the big screen,” he said.
“I’ve missed quite a lot of the season through injury in the winter so to come out here and run a time like that and put myself in the final amongst the quickest men in the world – I’m over the moon.
“It’s brilliant to be only the second Brit under 20 seconds. I was really shocked and it took me a while to compose myself. I just went out there and executed a race and luckily the time was good enough as well.
“Whatever race I go into I give it 100 per cent so I will go out there and give it my best and see whatever that gets.
“Every athlete comes to put themselves in a final and when you are in the final anything can happen. I will go out there and execute and if I run how I know I can run I don’t see why I cant get a medal. But that is not the aim, the aim is to go out there and execute again.”
While Gemili was left beaming after his second Russian outing in the 200m it was a different story for James Ellington and Delano Williams as they finished their semi-finals fourth and seventh respectively.
The 4x400m team of Conrad Williams, Martyn Rooney, Michael Bingham and Nigel Levine looked set for a podium finish in their final before fading late on, coming home in fourth 3:00.88 minutes.
“We had a nice strong team out there to go get that medal,” Williams said. “Firstly we have to say sorry to everyone though because we are much better than that, we just didn’t deliver.
“But we’ve got the Europeans and Commonwealth Games next year and we’re a work in progress.
“That’s two fourth places in two major champs. We’re just missing out so we need to get the leg orders right.”
There was disappointment too in the 800m semi-finals as both Laura Muir and Marilyn Okoro finished their respective races in seventh.
However there was plenty for Chris O’Hare to shout about as he became the first Brit to qualify for a 1500m World Championships final in six years.
The 22-year-old produced a strong finish in the home straight to come home fourth in his semi a time of 3:43.58 minutes, leaving him pinching himself in amazement at a World Championships debut to remember.
“I kind of pretended that I knew what I was doing, in races like these you have to blag it because these guys know what they’re doing,” he said.
“I had to put a brave face on and blag it and to be in a final in a stadium like this is just fantastic.
“On paper is only on paper, people are not running around with their PB on their chest, it’s down to who can perform on the day and I knew that I could so that’s all that really counts.
“I would have taken your hand off for this and to be worrying about recovering for a final is pretty nice.
“Everything since the heat is a bonus so as my coach said I went out there and just grabbed it.
“I will go away and think about what I can do in the final during the recovery, I will have my goals about what I can realistically do and then I will shoot for a bit higher than that.”
© Sportsbeat 2013