• World Junior Athletics Championships

Gemili clinches junior sprint title

ESPN staff
July 11, 2012
Adam Gemili was victorious in the 100m in Barcelona © Getty Images

Team GB sprint sensation Adam Gemili won the 100m at the World Junior Athletics Championships on Wednesday, in a new personal best of 10.05 seconds.

On the same track in Barcelona where Linford Christie claimed Olympic gold 20 years ago, 18-year-old Gemili broke the 10-year old championship record in the sprint event to become the fourth British winner of the race.

"It's a massive stepping stone," said Gemili afterwards. "Just making the final was an achievement but the fact I won is so amazing.

"It's going to help me a lot at the Olympics."

Gemili was quick out of the blocks and pulled away from the field over the closing stages - holding off the United States' Aaron Ernest (10.17s) and Jamaica's Odean Skeen (10.28s) as he dipped for the line and set a new personal best.

Four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon later described the performance as "the greatest male 100m performance ever at a world juniors."

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Mark Lewis-Francis and Christian Malcolm all previously won the event.

Another Brit, Chijinda Ujah, also qualified for the final - eventually finishing sixth in a time of 10.39s, also a new personal best.

Gemili, who was on the books of Chelsea as a youngster, was named in Team GB's athletics squad for London 2012 after running an Olympic 'A' standard of 10.08s earlier in the year.

Gemili's speed translates favourably to the seniors, with only France's European champion Christophe Lemaitre (10.04s) having run faster among athletes from Europe so far in 2012.

When asked if he could go faster still, Gemili said: "Who knows? All I know is that I feel good and I feel there is a lot more to come.

"I think it was very important to run that time. I ran quite quickly at the trials but not near the times I did in Regensburg [where he ran 10.08s], so the fact that I've done it again somewhere else is great."

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