When Usain Bolt wins gold in the 100 metres, he has a penchant for treating himself to chicken nuggets. For Adam Gemili, silver in the Commonwealth Games meant celebrating with a protein shake and an ice bath.
Had the medal been gold, he might have allowed himself to delve into the box of pizza on offer on his return to the athletes’ village on Monday night. But the 20-year-old, a former Chelsea academy player who swapped football for athletics, is not about to rest on his laurels after a first major championship medal.
The morning after the night of his life, he said: “The medal helps me build and it’s a great stepping stone to give me more confidence that I can come into a championships and, regardless of what times people have run, I can always try to get myself in the mix.
“The more finals you make, the more experience you get so it’s a great building block.”
There is an argument that Gemili should be attempting in Glasgow the sprint double that Bolt usually does, but instead he will miss the 200m, arguably his better event, and instead focus on that longer distance at the European Championships in Zürich next month. Despite his good form, he insisted there were no regrets about opting – with his coach, Steve Fudge – to bow out of the 200m in Glasgow.
“There are two championships this year so it would be a lot of work to do and I’m still only 20,” Gemili said. “A lot of these guys have got a lot of years of training on me, so I need a bit of time before I’m able to go to a championships and double up.
“He [Fudge] said he just wants longevity in my career so, hopefully, that’s what we can be pushing for.
“I’m only 20, Dwain Chambers is 36 now, Kim Collins 38 and still PB-ing [registering personal bests]. These guys have long careers so I can push on and hope for something better.”
When he woke up, his first reaction was to ask if it was a dream. His second behind Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole has allowed him to dream of bigger and better things in the years to come.