Rising talent Gemili may skip 'brutal competition' of Olympics
Monday 25 June 2012
Adam Gemili might have laid claim to the hottest ticket at London 2012 – a place in the men's 100m – but his coach has reservations about him taking it. Twenty four hours after the 18-year-old whizz-kid backed up his 10.08sec Olympic A standard time from three weeks ago with a top-two finish in the trials final, the man who guides him said it was far from a formality that his charge will be taking on Usain Bolt and the rest of the world next month.
Michael Afilaka said it was only "51-49" in favour of Gemili – runner-up to a pumped-up, resurgent Dwain Chambers on Saturday – accepting his place before the British selectors meet to finalise the team a week today. He is reluctant to throw the teenage speed merchant into the "cauldron" of Olympic battle after negotiating the World Junior Championships in Barcelona next month.
"We have to remember this is a young kid and everybody is getting carried away," Afilaka said. "It's not the world juniors versus the Olympics. It's always been about the world juniors. The Olympics is just a bonus.
"If you throw him into the cauldron of Olympics and he gets burned then he might never recover. The competition is brutal. I'm not saying we're not going to do it. I'm just saying that right now the plan is world juniors and we'll adjust accordingly.
"It takes a lot to double up and the higher intensity of the competition, the more demanding it is emotionally. If you saw him yesterday evening he was an emotional wreck. We have to be very sensible."
Chambers needs to chase the A standard of 10.18sec at the European Championships this week to be sure of his place. His winning time on Saturday was 10.25sec.
The selection system in the United States might be more clear-cut but even first-three-past-the-post can have its pitfalls. In the women's 100m final at the US trials in Eugene on Saturday Carmelita Jeter finished first in 10.92sec and Tianna Madison second in 10.96sec but Janeba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix dead-heated for third in 11.07sec.
They could not even be separated by a thousandth of a second, both being credited with 11.068sec. The matter will not be resolved until after the 200m, with the possibility of a race-off .
The performance of the weekend in Eugene came in the decathlon, Ashton Eaton smashing Roman Sebrle's 11-year-old world record by 13 points with a tally of 9,039.
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