• London Olympics 2012

Gemili set to pursue Olympic dream

ESPN staff
June 6, 2012
Mark Lewis-Francis and Dwain Chambers are in danger of missing out on an Olympics spot © Getty Images

Young sprint sensation Adam Gemili has confirmed he will try and win a place in GB's Olympic squad, with the 18-year-old preparing to forego the World Junior Championships to chase his dream of running at London 2012.

Gemili has shot to prominence after clocking a new personal best time of 10.08s - 0.10 secs inside the Olympic qualifying A standard - over 100 metres at an event in Germany last weekend.

That performance has put the former Chelsea trainee at the top of the British 100m rankings, with the likes of Dwain Chambers (seventh) and Mark Lewis-Francis (third) further down the standings.

The dilemma for Gemili is whether to pursue his bid to qualify for the summer Games or focus instead on the World Junior Championships. Three sprinters will compete for Great Britain at London 2012 but only if they attain the qualifying standard of 10.18s before July 1. If he places in the top two at the British trials in Birmingham on June 22 then he will make the team, with the third entrant at the selectors' discretion.

Six days earlier are the trials for the world juniors, but it appears Gemili has made up his mind, setting his sights on forcing his way into the Olympic squad.

"I'd love to go to the Olympics, but I don't want to run half-hearted at the trials," he told the Daily Mail. "I need to go there in good form and confident that I can get through and qualify. I don't want to be tired from the week before.

"We'll [Gemili and coach Michael Afilaka] have the discussion about if I can cope with it after the junior trials, which remain important to me and my development.

"That is my main target. It would be great to achieve a place at the Olympics, because the trials only come around once every four years. I've just got to wait and see how I feel. Right now, I feel great."

Afilaka says his charge has put himself firmly in the Olympic picture but admits he is wary of overloading him at such a young age. He said: "They can't ignore him now he's run that time. He's the fastest man in the country at the moment.

"If we do the senior trial those guys are animals, those guys are hard. They aren't going to roll over for a fresh-faced 18-year-old kid. I've trained those guys for Olympics and I know what they're like."

Should Gemili fail to qualify for the individual 100m, the teenager would be more than happy to represent GB as a member of the 4x100m relay team.

He added: "For the relay I've put myself in the position where people are going to consider me. Just making the squad for the relay would be amazing, such a treat. It's the Olympics and at 18 to get that experience will be unreal, the best thing in the world. Even if you don't run, just being there, in the Olympic village, being able to go to the track and watch it would be amazing."

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