Adam Gemili confirms Olympics appearance

 

Teenage sprinter Adam Gemili has confirmed he does plan to compete at the London Olympics.

The 18-year-old was today entered for the 100 metres, but not the 200m, at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona next month, the clearest indication yet that he will take up his guaranteed place at the Games.

Gemili, who will be hot favourite for gold at the championships which run from July 10-15, finished second to Dwain Chambers at the Olympic trials at the weekend to seal his place on the team for London.

The former footballer has exploded on to the scene this year and leads the UK rankings with a time of 10.08 seconds, but his coach Michael Afilaka revealed on Sunday he was not sure the athlete was mentally ready for the Games, claiming he was an "emotional wreck" after the trials.

Afilaka admitted Gemili wanted to compete in London and the teenager today revealed it was his intention to do so.

He told BBC Radio Kent: "My plan is to go to the Olympics and compete with the world's top sprinters and not get beaten too badly."

He added: "I've got two weeks until the World Juniors so I'm just going to get my head down and train hard for that.

"That was my aim for this year until I ran 10.08secs and the Olympics became a possibility.

"After that it's all focused on the Olympics."

Gemili, who was on the books of Chelsea, Reading and Dagenham and Redbridge until he decided to concentrate on athletics in January and will also compete in the relay in Barcelona, is part of a 43-strong Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team.

The fact he is only running in one individual event, rather than two, is a clear indication he will also run in London.

Elsewhere, Olympic heptathlon qualifier Katarina Johnson-Thompson will not compete in the seven-event competition as she saves herself for London, instead doubling up in the long jump and 100m hurdles.

Alongside Gemili, other strong gold medal contenders include James Gladman in the 110m hurdles, Jazmin Sawyers in the long jump and Jessica Judd, who will race over 800m and 1500m.

The team will aim to replicate the successful campaign of Moncton 2010 which yielded eight medals, including two golds.

"The World Junior Championships are a massive stepping stone in a junior athlete's career," said team leader Alan Richardson.

"And the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona will be a fantastic environment to learn in.

"I am really excited about this team, there is a lot of quality and we are not short of medal chances. In some cases, such as the sprints, selection was difficult with quite a number of athletes qualifying for several events, but it just shows the depth of the team - the sport at junior level is definitely moving forwards."

PA

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