Gemili leads English medal charge

Athletics Weekly - - News -

ADAM GEMILI says he has grown from feel­ing like a boy four years ago to a man as he pre­pares to race at his sec­ond Com­mon­wealth Games, writes Jes­sica Whit­ting­ton.

The sprinter claimed his first se­nior ma­jor medals as a 20-year-old at the 2014 Games in Glas­gow, se­cur­ing sil­ver in the 100m and 4x100m. His suc­cesses since have in­cluded world re­lay gold in Lon­don last sum­mer as well as fourth over 200m at the Rio Olympics and now Gemili hopes to add an­other cou­ple of medals to that haul on the Gold Coast.

“It’s crazy to think Glas­gow, four years ago, I was only 20 – I felt just like a boy. I feel like a man now,” says the Black­heath & Brom­ley ath­lete, who will again rep­re­sent Eng­land in the 100m and 4x100m in Aus­tralia.

“I feel very much one of the older ath­letes of the team with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence. The fact that I was able to win two sil­ver medals in Glas­gow helped me a lot for con­fi­dence and they were my first se­nior medals.”

The 24-year-old opened his sea­son with a 10.51 100m into a strong head­wind at the Queens­land In­ter­na­tional Track Clas­sic at the end of last month, fin­ish­ing run­ner-up to Ja­maica’s Com­mon­wealth Games-bound Ju­lian Forte.

“The opener was good con­sid­er­ing the wind,” re­flects Gemili, who also equalled his 60m PB with 6.59 at the Müller In­door Grand Prix in Glas­gow in Fe­bru­ary. “I had a re­ally good race, was sec­ond to Ju­lian

Forte who was a cou­ple of hun­dredths ahead of me and he is in fan­tas­tic shape as well, so off of that I know I am in a good place and I’ve just got to sharpen up a lit­tle bit and get my­self ready to go and do bat­tle next week. I feel like I am ready to go and chal­lenge for the medals, if not the gold medal.”

Gold is also the goal in the re­lay, where world in­door 60m hur­dles cham­pion An­drew Pozzi is an in­ter­est­ing ad­di­tion to the Eng­land squad.

“It’s funny to in­clude other ath­letes that po­ten­tially wouldn’t be in­volved in the re­lay set up but it’s work­ing well and ev­ery­one is help­ing and gelling,” says Gemili, who is also joined on the re­lay team by Harry Aikines-Ary­eetey, Richard Kilty and Zhar­nel Hughes.

“Un­for­tu­nately we’ve had a few in­juries with some of the sprint­ers so the re­lay squad has had to adapt but the tal­ent and depth we have in the UK, not just in the sprints but in the likes of the hur­dles, is that some­one like that can be brought in and start train­ing with us, so it’s fan­tas­tic.

“We’re ex­cited,” he adds. “We’re ex­pect­ing to go out there and com­pete and hope­fully bring home a medal. We ex­pect that as a min­i­mum be­cause we be­lieve as a squad we’ve got the ex­pe­ri­ence and the speed to com­pete with the best in the world.

“Win­ning in Lon­don last year helped reaf­firm that in our minds. We’ve got great re­spect for the other teams but we’ve got our own lane and we’re just go­ing to go and run our best and if we do that we be­lieve it should be enough to take the gold.”

Adam Gemili: took sil­ver in Glas­gow four year ago

Gemili says the 4x100m re­lay squad’s con­fi­dence grew af­ter their win in Lon­don

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