• London Olympics 2012

New GB sprint sensation Gemili could skip Olympics

ESPN staff
June 4, 2012
The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture outside the London 2012 stadium © PA Photos

Young British sprinter Adam Gemili may skip London 2012 due to reservations about whether or not the experience will aid his development.

Gemili, 18, burst into Olympic contention last weekend after running 10.08 seconds over 100 metres at an event in Germany - a time inside the Olympic A standard, and one that put him on top of the current British rankings.

The former Chelsea trainee could now be set to compete with the likes of Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis-Francis for the right to run at this summer's Olympic Games but his coach, Michael Afilaka, may direct him towards the World Junior Championships instead.

The junior event takes place in Barcelona in July, with trials just a week prior to those for the Olympics.

"If there is leeway to get us to the Olympics we'll consider it, but right now the aim is to stick to going to the World Juniors," Afilaka told the Daily Telegraph. "The management of our junior guys is something I've been really concerned about.

"We don't manage them very well and we do too much too soon."

However Gemili, who continued his football career with Dagenham & Redbridge after being released by Chelsea before focusing on athletics, would seem to be excited by the prospect of competing at a home Olympics.

"My focus so far has been the World Juniors, but following this my coach and I will definitely be sitting down to discuss options," he said. "It's a great opportunity and a nice dilemma to have."

Shielding young sprinters from major meetings is not a new thing - female sprint sensation Jodie Williams skipped last year's World Championships to concentrate on continuing her development at her own pace, although the 18-year-old plans to compete at the summer Games.

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