Adam Gemili is adamant that the recent bust-ups between Britain’s male sprinters will have no bearing on the relay team’s performances in the build-up to next month’s Commonwealth Games and that any rift between Britain’s fastest men has healed.
Two spats occurred among Britain’s sprinters – one at the World Indoor Trials in Sheffield in February, the other at the Loughborough base where the two rival British training groups are based.
Gemili’s coach Steve Fudge trains one group and the other, which includes Dwain Chambers, is trained by coach Rana Reider. But Gemili has played down the level of animosity and said it would have no impact on getting the baton around, starting at this weekend’s European Team Championships in Braunschweig, Germany.
“It’s not an issue at all for the relay,” he said. “If it was, we’d be in trouble. All the guys are working well together and get on well. Everything’s good.”
There were reports of one athlete being held in a headlock by another at the World Indoor Trials and of the rival groups having to be pulled apart on another occasion.
“There’s rivalries in sprinting – everyone wants a spot at the [Commonwealth] champs so rivalries will develop,” said Gemili. “It got blown way out of proportion and everything that got reported was... a lot of it was very incorrect. We all get on as sprinters. Not all of the time, but we do get on.”
Britain’s male sprinters have had a woeful record of successfully getting the baton round at major championships in recent years. At last year’s World Championships in Moscow they were disqualified in the 4x100m relay having initially finished with the bronze medal. But Gemili believes that errors made by both himself and his team-mates are a thing of the past.
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t challenge the Jamaicans and Americans for a gold medal at future championships,” he said. “That’s saying a big thing with the Jamaicans with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, but we can do it.”
After Braunschweig Gemili will be in action at the British Championships in Birmingham the following weekend, racing in the 200 metres.
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