World Championships 2013: Sprinter Adam Gemili soaks up advice from old hand Dwain Chambers
Thursday 15 August 2013
Adam Gemili was just six weeks shy of his sixth birthday when Dwain Chambers made his World Championship debut and won a bronze medal in the 100m.
On Sunday, the pair will be part of the British 4x100m relay team at Chambers' latest major championship experience. But tomorrow, the 19-year-old Gemili's individual aspirations finally begin on the seventh day of competition in the 200m and it is Chambers that he has been leaning on as he takes part in only the second major championship of his career – off the back of a stunning 2012 which was very nearly capped by him reaching the 100m Olympic final.
"The older, experienced guys in the team are really helping us young guys, giving advice on how to cope with nerves and pressure, to see it as a normal competition," he said. "Dwain's spoken to me and we've had long conversations about a lot of things. He says, 'you're very young and got age on your side. If you keep working and keep doing the right things and keep being patient you'll go far.' I believe in that and I'm grateful to have someone like him that I'm able to talk to."
Chambers is well versed in the perils of the sport with his own chequered doping past– a buzzword once more after the recent spate of scandals.
Among those caught up in it was American Tyson Gay, who tipped Gemili to be an "all-time great" a year ago. Gemili is not hugely comfortable talking on the subject of Gay, but more broadly on the subject of doping he said: "I'm just trying to focus on myself. I can only control the controllables. So I'm enjoying the sprinting and it's unfortunate what's happened this summer with the revelations with the sprints. But I think athletes have to move on from that."
He has been in conversation with the event favourite, Usain Bolt, with the Jamaican defending champion telling the Briton just to "enjoy it". But enjoyment may not be enough; there has been an impatience in the British psyche of wanting our sprinters to deliver immediately and that expectation is even greater on Gemili after he got close to the 10-second barrier last year.
He insists there is no rush to get below that mark, particularly as he missed out on an individual 100m berth, instead selected to compete in the 200m. But he has looked to the sub-10-second standard set by James Dasaolu to raise his game.
"James smashing the 10-second barrier is absolutely brilliant for British sprinting," he said. "He's raising it to the next level. It's up to the rest of us guys to step up. Whether that happens this year or the next I'm not too worried. If I keep working on the right things then one day it will happen.
"That's not the aim anyway. The aim now is to get better and keep executing. The times will come with that."
Bolt set to beat Lewis' record
The Lightning Bolt will be back in the Luzhniki Stadium tomorrow evening, ready to strike for gold No 2. Having bagged the 100m prize amid thunder and lightning on Sunday, Usain Bolt turns his attention to the first round of the 200m.
Carl Lewis holds the highest tally of medals won by a male athlete at the World Championships: eight golds, a silver and a bronze. Bolt has eight so far: six golds and two silvers. With the 200m final to come tomorrow night and the 4 x100m relay on Sunday, he is poised to match that tally. "I am going to try to continue winning championships," said Bolt. "I want to be mentioned alongside greats like Pele, Maradona and Muhammad Ali."
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