- Adam Gemili: British sprint star
- What’s the best training advice you’ve ever been given?
- Why do you think British sprinting has had such little success in recent years?
- Usain Bolt famously said he eats chicken nuggets before a race. Have you got any particular pre-race meals?
- Are you already planning for the Rio Olympics? How do you think you’ll do?
- You say ‘hopefully I’ll do well’, but will you be going for gold?
- What’s the most important part of a 100m race for you?
- To the average observer the 100m is over in a flash, but can you explain the different phases of a race?
- Is there a particular exercise you do that has a particular benefit for your running times?
- British sprint star Adam Gemili on track to make history after productive winter of training with new coach
- Sprint star Gemili was at Chelsea academy for eight years and is mates with Loftus-Cheek
- Yohan Blake pips Adam Gemili in sprint thriller
- Adam Gemili targets World Championships in Beijing
- CHINESE SPRINT STAR SU BINGTIAN JOINED BY BRITAIN’S RISING STARS IN 60M ADDITIONS FOR GLASGOW’S MÜLLER INDOOR GRAND PRIX
- Michael Johnson interview: Gemili can take Great Britain the slow lane
- Adam Gemili on life at the forefront of British athletics
- Adam Gemili on… his training schedule
- Adam Gemili on… whether sprinters need muscles
- Adam Gemili on… losing out on an Olympic medal by three thousandths of a second
- Adam Gemili on… his diet
- Adam Gemili on… Usain Bolt
- Adam Gemili on… how to run faster
- Adam Gemili on…. winning a gold medal at the European Championships in the 4x100m relay
- Adam Gemili on… his 2018 performances
- Adam Gemili on… the future
Adam Gemili: British sprint star
It’s difficult, very difficult. I train early in the morning and then in the evenings and try to see my friends in between then. It’s hard but it’s all about hardcore time management.
What’s the best training advice you’ve ever been given?
To be patient. If you learn at your own pace, you develop at your own speed. You don’t have to rush that by going to the gym a lot or increasing your training. You improve at your own thing and you’ve just got to be patient. If you work hard enough your time will come.
Why do you think British sprinting has had such little success in recent years?
I’d argue with that – I’d say it’s not a lack of success, I’d say there’s been a gap where not that many British sprinters have come through. Luckily that’s changing now and young British sprinters are able to challenge senior guys all over the world, and we’re only getting quicker and closer to gold.
Usain Bolt famously said he eats chicken nuggets before a race. Have you got any particular pre-race meals?
No, I keep it simple. I just do what I’ve got to for my race and try not to get myself too worked up and nervous. So no special drink or food beforehand for me.
Are you already planning for the Rio Olympics? How do you think you’ll do?
It’s been in the back of my mind. I’ll be at the age where I’m at my optimum [he’ll be 22], so hopefully I’ll do well.
You say ‘hopefully I’ll do well’, but will you be going for gold?
Yeah! If you’re going to aim big you’ve got to be the biggest. Gold is what I’m training for and what I want to get.
What’s the most important part of a 100m race for you?
The start. If you don’t get a good start you’ve got to make up for it in the rest of the race and at the top level that’s very hard. If you don’t set up for the race well, get a good reaction time or get a good drive phase, it’ll be very difficult to run a good 100m.
To the average observer the 100m is over in a flash, but can you explain the different phases of a race?
I break the race down into three or four parts: the split the blocks, the drive phase, the transition phase into running and then upright running where you’re just accelerating and gaining speed. There are a lot of different aspects to it and a lot of hard work goes into each one – it’s definitely not as easy as it can look.
Is there a particular exercise you do that has a particular benefit for your running times?
I don’t think there is any one exercise. I think there are a lot of different exercises that work different muscles of your body. You need good abdominal strength, which surprises most people, so I do a lot of double-leg lowers and sit-ups and stuff that. Abs strength is what helps me stay low through the drive phase and get as good a start as possible.
Confused.com worked with Adam Gemili on Man vs Robot ahead of their new advertising campaign.
British sprint star Adam Gemili on track to make history after productive winter of training with new coach
“I’d love to be the first British man to go sub-10 and sub-20,” he said. “Last year, a lot of people expected me to do that after I broke 20 seconds at the World Championships, but I’m only 20 years old and I’m still early on in my career, so I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to try and do it. If it does happen this year, that would be amazing.”
Gemili’s 19.98sec, clocked at the World Championships in Moscow last August, making him only the second Briton after John Regis to breach the 20sec barrier, followed a troubled winter when a foot problem required surgery.
This time last year he was still rehabilitating and just beginning to jog again.
The year before that, his debut season, he only began training full-time halfway through the winter after deciding to put his football ambitions on hold to try his hand at the track.
However, as he goes in search of his first silverware of the season on Sunday in the 100m at the British Universities Championships in Bedford, Gemili will be running with seven months of trouble-free training in his legs and with new technical input from one of the country’s brightest young sprint coaches.
After splitting with his former coach, Michael Afilaka, following an apparent disagreement over working methods, Gemili has been training at Loughborough since October alongside fellow sprint star James Dasaolu under the guidance of Steve Fudge – a coach known for his attention to scientific detail from biomechanics, to medical support, to nutrition.
“I’ve been in the sport for nearly two years now and I’ve had to learn a lot very quickly, but with Steve it’s just a different approach to things,” Gemili said.
“I’m still breaking things down, trying to improve the front end of my race the blocks and getting my technique right. I’m not built a lot of other sprinters. I’m not big and muscly. For me it’s more about being good technically, and so I’ve just been trying to improve that and really learn how to be a sprinter.
“Steve is very scientific and there are a lot of resources that we’re able to use at UK Athletics which we take advantage of on the biomechanics and sports science side of things. We’ll see this summer whether it’s made a difference. I’m not going to say that I’m going to go out there and run ridiculously fast. If it happens, it happens. But I’m just keen to learn the art of sprinting.
“For the last two years I think I’ve been quite lucky in the sense that I haven’t had much disappointment, so hopefully we’ll see some improvement in the way I run.”
After this weekend, Gemili will be taking a pause from competitive racing to concentrate on his academic exams. His timetable means he will not be available for the inaugural World Relay Championships in the Bahamas later this month, but by June he will be out on the circuit, all guns blazing.
With plans to race over 100m and 200m, he is committed to Diamond League races in Oslo and Glasgow, the latter pitting him against Jamaican Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake over 100m, and he hopes to double up at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the European Championships in Zurich.
It promises to be quite a summer both for Gemili and British sprinting.
Dasaolu, his new training partner, looked in stupendous form this winter until a hamstring tear intervened and, if his body holds up, he will surely make further advances following his sub-10sec breakthrough last summer.
After his brilliant world indoor 60m victory in March, Richard Kilty should also be knocking on the door of 10 seconds. Gemili welcomes the competition.
“The way I look at it, the more people we’ve got in Britain running quicker and quicker, the more competitive it gets, the harder we have to work and the more chance we have of competing with the Jamaicans and the Americans, who are leagues ahead of us,” he said. “The more guys we’ve got, the more guys we can get into finals, challenging for medals, so for Richard Kilty to go to the World Indoors and win gold was amazing not just for himself but for British sprinting.”
And it is not just Britain’s male sprinters who are on the move. Former world and youth champion Jodie Williams signalled a return to form following her injury problems with a sizzling 200m personal best of 22.76sec in Florida last month, while early-season personal bests for teenagers Desiree Henry and Dina Asher-Smith over 200m and 100m respectively suggest there is plenty more to come.
“The women are absolutely smashing it,” Gemili said. “It’s really good to see. It looks it could be a great summer.”
Sprint star Gemili was at Chelsea academy for eight years and is mates with Loftus-Cheek
TEAM GB sprint star Adam Gemili spent eight years as a Chelsea academy star and struck a close bond with Ruben Loftus-Cheek before focusing on athletics glory.
Gemili joined the Blues aged seven, but was heartbroken after being released as a 15-year-old.
Gemili joined the Blues at age seven, but was heartbroken after being released as a 15-year-oldCredit: Chelsea FC
But only three years later, he competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games having transitioned into athletics.
Gemili told Chelsea’s club website how he traveled to training with pal Loftus-Cheek and played alongside Nathaniel Chalobah and Jamal Blackman.
He said: “Being around the best players and around that professional level from a young age was great for me.
“We trained at Cobham after Harlington and Battersea Park in the earlier days and I absolutely loved it.
“I still chat to Jamal and Ruben, who was a few years younger but from the same area as me.
“We used to travel in together on the same bus every week for years and it’s unbelievable to see how he’s pushed on.
“Josh McEachran was the year above and an unbelievable talent even at that young age, and Nathaniel Chalobah was the age group below but we all used to mix together in training.
“It was just a nice era to be around because everyone was humble and got on with each other.”
After being released by Chelsea Gemili continued to play football, signing a professional deal at Dagenham & Redbridge, but his only appearances in senior football came on loan at Thurrock.
The Londoner eventually turned all his attention to track and field, and has gone on to become a double European champion, winning the 200 metres and 4 x 100m relay as well as a gold medalist in the same relay at the 2017 World Athletics Championships.
Gemili now travels to Doha for the 2019 World Athletics Championships, competing in the 100m and 200m, as well as defending his 4 x 100m relay world title.
But the 25-year-old still credits the lessons learned as a Chelsea academy product to his success as a track and field star.
He added: “At Chelsea, they taught us about diet and nutrition, sleep, studying, working hard and just being a good person.
“That was the one thing that I always d about being at Chelsea – even if you were the best player in the team, if you weren’t a good person off the pitch then they weren’t interested.
“I learned a lot about that, picking up good habits and being a role model, and it’s something I’ve taken into my track and field life.
“The little professional things you learn from such a young age become ingrained into your head and I don’t think I’d be the athlete I am today if I hadn’t gone through that system.
” Gemili struck a close bond with Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-CheekCredit: Getty – Contributor After being released by Chelsea Gemili continued to play football and signed a professional deal at Dagenham & RedbridgeCredit: Getty – ContributorFrank Lampard's brilliant reaction finding out Chelsea had drawn Manchester United in the Carabao Cup fourth round
Yohan Blake pips Adam Gemili in sprint thriller
It took a photo finish to separate Yohan Blake and Adam Gemili in the 100m, but both men left the Alexander Stadium in good spirits and knowing their countdown to Doha is on track. Blake, the 2011 world champion, was given the verdict as each athlete shared the same time of 10.07. Runner-up Gemili was happy, though, as he continues his comeback from hamstring problems.
Helped by a following wind of 2.0m/sec, Mike Rodgers was third in 10.09 with fellow American Christopher Belcher fourth in 10.13. Andre De Grasse, the Olympic 100m bronze medallist from Canada, was fifth followed by Jamaican champion Tyquendo Tracey and Commonwealth gold medallist Akani Simbine of South Africa.
“It was good, it was coming,” said Blake. “The weather wasn’t great but I’m saving the big day for the World Championships and the Diamond League finals in Zurich.”
Gemili said: “It wasn’t my best start but I’m just so happy to be healthy and back up running. It’s good to be in the mix with some of the best sprinters in the world.
“To win my heat and finish second in the Diamond League race, it bodes well for the British Champs and hopefully I can make the team for Doha. I’ve put a lot of training in this winter and I’m healthy finally.”
After his runner-up finish in yesterday’s @BirminghamDL 100m in 10.07 – the same time as winner Yohan Blake – Adam Gemili was asked which event – the 100 or 200 – is now his favourite… #BirminghamDL pic..com/6yGBryKzaZ
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) August 19, 2019
The men’s 800m saw a number of top domestic runners going head to head one week before the British Championships. An English man won, but it was Mark English from Ireland who timed his kick to perfection to run 1:45.94 to beat Kenya’s 1:42 man Alfred Kipketer.
Close behind, Elliot Giles won the battle of the Brits as he clocked 1:46.27 ahead of Jamie Webb, Guy Learmonth and Spencer Thomas.
.@ElliotLeviGiles gives his thoughts on yesterday’s @BirminghamDL 800m, which came down to the kick. He finished top Brit in third in 1:46.27. pic..com/QJU812c7yb
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) August 19, 2019
In a rare race in the UK, Colorado-based Thomas Staines misjudged his effort and finished eighth, while UK junior record-holder Max Burgin found the early pace of 50.6 at the bell too hot and the 17-year-old will now make a decision over whether to tackle the British Championships back in Birmingham next weekend.
Max Burgin, the 17-year-old UK U20 record-holder, talks to @Jason_AW about his “baptism of fire” in yesterday’s @BirminghamDL 800m where he was disappointed with his 1:47.99 for 10th. It was his first race since June and missing the Euro U20 Champs through injury #BirminghamDL pic..com/PS7DS6SA7Z
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) August 19, 2019
Cheng Chao-tsun, the Asian record-holder from Chinese Taipei, caused a mild upset to take the men’s javelin with 87.75m from Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic as Magnus Kirt, the 2019 world No.1 from Estonia, was third, German duo Andreas Hofmann and Thomas Rohler fourth and seventh, while London Olympics winner Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago was last.
Akeem Bloomfield of Jamaica took the men’s 400m in 45.04 as local star Matt Hudson-Smith ran a decent 45.55 in third. It was the European champion’s first race for almost a year due to what he described a ‘career threatening injury’ sustained in the spring. But he is back on track for the British Championships and confident of getting back inside 45 seconds in Doha.
“It’s always good to be home,” said the Florida-based and Birmingham-born athlete. “I put on a good showing and it’s nice to do that. Now it’s on to the trials.”
There was another Jamaican victory in the 110m hurdles as Omar McLeod won in 13.21 (-0.2) – one 10th of a second ahead of Freddie Crittenden.
At the start of the afternoon the European champion Thomas Young, 19, continued his build up to the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai by winning the T35-38 100m in 11.37 (1.4m/sec).
Elsewhere, Yasmani Copello took the men’s 400m hurdles in 49.08 ahead of South American junior record-holder Alison Santos (49.20) while Britain’s Jacob Paul was seventh in 50.71.
Ronald Musagala of Uganda won the men’s 1500m in 3:35.12 from Stewart McSweyn of Australia and Craig Engels of the US. Chris O’Hare was the best of the Brits but only in 10th as he clocked 3:41.98.
Brandon Starc jumped 2.30m to win the high jump as home hope Chris Baker finished sixth with 2.19m.
» Read about the women’s events in Birmingham on Sunday here
» More in the August 22 issue of AW magazine
Adam Gemili targets World Championships in Beijing
Published: 16:02 BST, 29 April 2015 | Updated: 19:05 BST, 29 April 2015
Adam Gemili has set himself the challenge of mixing it with the best that Jamaica and the United States have to offer this season.
The 21-year-old sprinter won his first senior title by roaring to 200 metres gold at the European Championships last summer, but knows he faces another step up in class if he wants to compete with the world's fastest men.
The Londoner revealed he is ly to focus on the 200m again at the World Championships in Beijing in August, although still plans to race plenty over 100m throughout the campaign.
Adam Gemili believes he can mix it with the best in August's World Championships in Beijing
Gemili leads Great Britain home in the 4 x 100m relay final at the European Athletics Championships last year
Gemili told Press Association Sport: 'I probably won't end up doubling up at the Worlds, because I think I've still got a bit more work to do on both events before I can go and be ultra competitive.
'But hopefully I'll give one or the other a go, probably the 200m, and then develop my 100m on the circuit.'
Gemili broke the 20-seconds barrier for the second time in his career to land European gold in Zurich and that performance has given him plenty of belief for Beijing.
'It gives me confidence that if I do that again this year, then potentially a medal could be there.' he said.
'But I've got to make the final first and I know the competition is fierce. It's going to be a tough one, but I am ready for the challenge.'
Gemili, who said he would ly open his season at the end of May, will face a stern test of his World Championship credentials when he races at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games, which will take place at the Olympic Stadium from July 24 to 26.
Gemili, pictured during his winter training camp, says he is ly to concentrate on the 200m this year
Gemili takes part in the men's 200m heats at the British Championships in Birmingham last year
Gemili on the medal podium with Usain Bolt after England came second to Jamaica at the Commonwealths
Gemili is at the vanguard of an exciting new generation of British sprinters, with his training partner James Dasaolu taking the 100m title in Zurich.
Dasaolu has already smashed the 10-second mark for 100m, running 9.91secs, and his team-mate is optimistic it is a matter of when, rather than if, he follows suit.
'I haven't really run in my opinion a greatly-executed 100m race,' said Gemili, who won 100m silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
'If I do that potentially that 10-second barrier could go, but that's not the aim. I just want to get myself in the mix and be competitive with the rest of the world. If I am able to do that the time should be there.'
Gemili broke the 20 second barrier in the 200m at the European Championships, giving him belief for Beijing
Gemili was promoting the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 24-26
While Usain Bolt enjoyed a lighter year in 2014, two-time former drug cheat Justin Gatlin dominated over 100m and 200m, running, at the age of 33, personal bests of 9.77s and 19.68 over 100m and 200m.
Gemili, though, still reckons the Jamaican will be the man to beat in 2015.
'They are both great competitors, but I think if Usain Bolt gets himself back into shape he will be the guy to beat, because he's the world record holder for the 100m and the 200m,' he said.
'Bolt is Bolt and he is something unbelievably special.
'He will be the guy to beat and it's always nice to everyone to go and challenge him. It will be good to get in the mix.'
Tickets for the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games are available from www.britishathletics.org.uk
CHINESE SPRINT STAR SU BINGTIAN JOINED BY BRITAIN’S RISING STARS IN 60M ADDITIONS FOR GLASGOW’S MÜLLER INDOOR GRAND PRIX
8th February 2018
- Chinese sensation SU confirmed to appear in Glasgow following eye-catching victory in Dusseldorf
- Britain’s rising stars Reece Prescod & Ojie Edoburun also join 60m field
- Tickets for meeting on February 25 available at www.britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets/muller-indoor-grand-prix-glasgow-2018/
The latest athlete to grab athletics headlines following a stunning victory in Dusseldorf on Tuesday, Chinese sprint star SU Bingtian is the latest star international name to be added to the men’s 60m field for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow in just over two weeks’ time.
The number one ranked indoor athletics meeting in the world, the Grand Prix returns to the Emirates Arena on Sunday 25 February having been held in Glasgow for the first time in 2016, with China’s fastest ever man SU confirmed to appear following a red-hot streak of form at the start of 2018.
A finalist over 100m at last summer’s IAAF World Championships in London, Bingtian clocked a scorching time of 6.43 over 60m for victory in Dusseldorf, Germany earlier this week, with the time seeing him become the joint-fifth fastest man ever over the distance.
Speaking on joining the world-class 60m field in Glasgow, SU said:
“The start of 2018 has gone better than I could have imagined – to run a Asian record in Dusseldorf and become the fifth fastest man ever over 60m was surreal.
“I feel really sharp at the moment and very confident in my ability, so I am excited to return to the UK to race at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on February 25, especially after some great experiences and memories from races in the UK previously.
“I was very impressed by the crowds back in August [at London 2017], so to have the opportunity to return to the UK and hopefully claim the IAAF World Indoor Tour 60m title in Glasgow is really great.”
Joining SU in being added to the field are two of Britain’s rising sprint stars, Reece Prescod (coach: Jonas Dodoo, club: Enfield & Haringey) and Ojie Edoburun (Steve Fudge, Shaftesbury Barnet).
Both aged just 21, the pair enjoyed memorable 2017s respectively, with Prescod winning the British 100m title before navigating his way to the 100m at London’s world championships, finishing seventh, while Edoburun struck gold with victory over 100m at the European U23 Championships.
SU and British pair Prescod and Edoburun will join 4x100m world champions Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Adam Gemili (Rana Reider, Blackheath & Bromley) and CJ Ujah (Stuart McMillan, Enfield & Haringey) in lining up over 60m, each of whom were confirmed for the meeting back in December.
British Athletics Chief Executive, Niels de Vos said:
“SU Bingtian’s performance in Germany on Tuesday quite rightly generated a lot of excitement, so to have him in the field for the men’s 60m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow makes for an event that is not to be missed, particularly with the s of our rising British stars Ojie Edoburun and Reece Prescod also in the field.
“The indoor season is really picking up pace as we move towards the world’s best grand prix returning to Glasgow on February 25, and I am sure that the combination of a packed crowd and the intimate feel of the Emirates Arena will more than contribute to seeing superb performances delivered across the board.”
Supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow is the final of the prestigious IAAF World Indoor Tour, with wildcards for the IAAF World Indoor Championships available to athletes who have not already qualified to compete for their nation.
Tickets for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow are available at www.britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets/muller-indoor-grand-prix-glasgow-2018/
Michael Johnson interview: Gemili can take Great Britain the slow lane
By Jonathan McEvoy for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:53 BST, 22 July 2013 | Updated: 00:12 BST, 23 July 2013
Michael Johnson, as svelte as when he was pitter- pattering his way to Olympic immortality, is in the unly setting of the FA’s National Football Centre at Burton-upon-Trent.
The saviour of the derided Atlanta Games and four-times Olympic gold medallist is here to launch a partnership between the FA and his eponymous ‘performance training institute’, a venture that will train people of all abilities at this bespoke and, it must be said, glisteningly impressive facility.
Johnson, the son of a teacher mother back in Texas, is keen to lend more than his name to the project and will be calling in when his schedule brings him to this country every couple of months.
Suits you: Adam Gemili's technique has impressed Johnson
But as well as perusing this project — ‘Michael Johnson Performance’ has also worked with Manchester United, Arsenal and the Williams F1 team — Johnson is now one of track and field’s most insightful commentators, daring to speak out where some British pundits fear to tread.
‘The BBC do six hours of coverage at the Worlds,’ he says of making his living as a TV analyst on this side of the Atlantic. ‘In the US, they show highlights with commercials and it is crammed into two hours.
‘That is not enough time to educate the viewer about what is really going on. The way it is done over here works a lot better for my style. They are dedicated to it.’ The commitment of the British to athletics is firmly in vogue this week, with the anniversary of London 2012 being marked with a Diamond League meeting in the Olympic Stadium this weekend.
One competitor Johnson will have his scrutinising eye on is Adam Gemili, the 19-year-old World Junior 100 metres champion who is a member of Sportsmail’s Road to Rio series. The Londoner will take part in one of two 100m races on Friday night, alas missing a confrontation with Usain Bolt, the legend who runs in the other.
Passing on the knowledge: Michael Johnson has worked with Manchester United, Arsenal and the Williams F1 team
On top of the world: Michael Johnson held the record in the 200m and the 400m in the 1990s
Johnson, others, has been highly critical of British sprinting in recent years, which is part of the reason why so much faith is invested in Gemili.
‘One thing that has worked for me in my media work is that I have tried to be honest,’reasoned Johnson. ‘Sometimes athletes have heard my comments and told me, “Hey, what you said helped me”. It is one thing to criticise. But to analyse and explain can benefit not only the viewer but the athlete.
‘Mark Lewis-Francis was one of the athletes I have been most critical of. In the end, he actually came to me for advice — a nice feeling. What I was saying was not just me being critical of his situation.
‘The fact that nobody took over the mantle from Marlon Devonish and Christian Malcolm in the space of the last 13 years or so tells the story. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Craig Pickering have still not really taken over. The programme has not been effective in developing the next generation of British sprinters to become world class and compete at the top level.
Helping hand: Johnson was critical of Mark Lewis-Francis and then the sprinter turned to the American for help
Changing of the guard: Charles van Commenee was replaced by Peter Eriksson as head coach
‘For years, before Charles van Commenee (head coach of UK Athletics for London 2012), there was too much acceptance of mediocrity. The view seemed to be that it was OK to be British No 1 and receive too much money the idea that potential indicated they could be world class.
‘That has significantly improved over the last four years. I think we saw that generally in the British team at the Olympics with the s of Mo Farah and Jess Ennis. I saw the change under Van Commenee. He said he was not prepared to accept mediocre results and a zillion different excuses.’
The controversial Van Commenee has since left, having failed to meet his own medal target at the Olympics despite the team winning four unforgettable golds. Peter Eriksson replaced him but almost immediately quit to take over the Canadian squad, leaving the team for next month’s World Championships in Moscow under the direction of Neil Black, the performance director.
In the fast lane: James Dasaolu ran 9.91secs at the British Championships this month
But back to the sprinting scene, which boasts Gemili and 26-year-old James Dasaolu, who earlier this month ran 9.91sec, the second fastest time by a Briton, behind Linford Christie. This interview was conducted before Dasaolu’s brilliant performance and the doping scandals implicating Tyson Gay and Jamaican athletes including Veronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell.
So to Gemili, who had surgery on his right foot in March before going on to win the European Under 23 100m gold medal. However, he will compete in only the 200m at the World Championships having failed to attain the 100m qualifying time.
‘He has talent,’ said Johnson of Gemili, who came from obscurity to make it into last year’s Olympic 100m semi-final and has run 10.05sec.
Passing on the knowledge: Michael Johnson runs a coaching session with school children to kick-off the new partnership between Michael Johnson Performance and Perform at St George's Park
'What is interesting is to see how this season works out in the end. I am always interested to see the ‘second’ year and how an athlete responds to expectation.
'Everything last year was almost a bonus for him. Getting to the Olympics was a positive. Getting through a round was a positive.
‘He has great technique — it is phenomenal. That will be extremely important as he develops. It is a hard area to work on.
‘What he needs to understand is race development, an effective race strategy that will complement his technique and make-up. I’ll be watching.’
And available for advice should it be sought.
Perform, part of Spire Healthcare and the official healthcare provider for St. George’s Park, has partnered with Michael Johnson Performance to offer performance training services to elite athletes and schoolchildren. Find out more at spireperform.com or www..com/performstgeorgespark
Adam Gemili on life at the forefront of British athletics
Perhaps you know Adam Gemili as the prodigious 18-year-old talent who forced his way into Team GB’s athletics team at the London 2012 Olympics. Or maybe you know him as the 100th man to run 100m in less than 10 seconds. It could be that your memory of Gemili is one that he’d rather forget, when he missed out on an Olympic bronze medal at the Rio Games by three thousandths of a second.
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If you’re not aware of any of Gemili’s successes, or near successes, then maybe you just know him as the most recognisable face in British sprinting. However you know him, one thing is for sure, Adam Gemili has had a hell of a career, and he’s still only 24-years old.
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“I came into the sport so young,” says Gemili. “At London 2012 I was 18 years old, I was the youngest on the athletics team, and even though I’m only 24 it feels a long time ago, so I definitely feel I'm one of the elder statesmen of the team.”
Having been a part of the gold-medal-winning 4×100 team at last month’s European Championships, Gemili isn’t slowing down yet, but there’s a new wave of British sprinters looking to take out the King, with Reece Prescod and Zharnel Hughes the most ly usurpers.
(Related: The sprinter's explosive power workout)
So what does the man who has been there, done it, and worn the medal make of his past, present and future, and what does he think of the state of British sprinting? We spoke to the man himself to find out.
Adam Gemili on… his training schedule
“In the winter, I train six days a week. Three of those days I lift in the gym, so they're double session days, and as you get closer and closer to the championships the intensity of the session increases, but the length of the session decreases. You narrow it down and try and work on your speed and really localise that and try and run as fast as you can.
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“As you get closer to competition your work rate definitely increases, but you're not killing yourself because you want to be fresh for when you go and race, so we call that the taper. We start tapering into the champs, so as you go to compete you're at you fastest but freshest. Finding that balance is quite difficult.”
Adam Gemili on… whether sprinters need muscles
“If you've ever seen me sprint then you'll know I'm bulging my sprint suit with all the muscles that I've got. No, I definitely fit into the slender sprinter category, for sure. It's whatever works for that sprinter.
Some people need that power and they need to put that force into the track, other people are just a little bit more elastic and just bounce a little bit better on the track, and if you put on too much muscle that can actually hinder your performance.
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Adam Gemili on… losing out on an Olympic medal by three thousandths of a second
“It was tough; it was really tough. The reality didn't hit me until the next day. In the moment you're upset and I was crying. I haven't cried that in years, and I saw my family after the race, and was just in a really bad way. And then the next day you wake up and you're the opportunity's gone.
All that four years of training has gone, and it's important to realise that and let yourself understand that because people try and just throw it away and say it's fine, it's one of those things, and it sort of bottles up inside of you.
It's important to let those emotions out and then mentally go ahead and focus on the long-term goals, so the next time you don't miss out on a medal by three thousandths of a second.
“Fourth place is probably one of the worst places you can finish at the Olympics because it's so close. I'd rather have been beaten by half a second than having been that close to a medal and lost. So, yeah, mentally you've got to stay focused, stay positive and surround yourself with good people who all believe in you.”
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Adam Gemili on… his diet
“My coach texted me yesterday and said 'enjoy your off season, please don't get fat'.
I'm a guy that can look at a cake and put on kilo without even eating it, so I have to be so strict with my diet when I'm in season because I'm not naturally gifted to just eat anything I want and stay slim.
I don't really do any special diets, I just eat good food: a good hit of protein, good carbohydrates, lots of vegetables, lots of fresh fruit.”
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Adam Gemili on… Usain Bolt
“I think when he retired, it was a really sad occasion, but everyone moves up one level in the pecking order because, being realistic, he was a very special athlete.
When you're running in that moment you completely believe you're going to win, and you have to have that belief otherwise you've lost already, but realistically the guy was just so talented, and so unbelievable, it was very, very difficult for us to stay with him, and he only got beaten a few times in his career, and those times were when he wasn't in the best of shape.
“When the guy was in form and in shape, he's basically unbeatable.”
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Adam Gemili on… how to run faster
“It all comes from how you move in the air. A lot of people think it's how you connect with the floor, but actually sprinting is done in the air, and that's how you get fast.
It's about how you bounce off the track and how you move and how stiff and tight you are. The more relaxed you are, the quicker you'll go.
Too much tension will tighten you up and you get a lot slower, so when you’re sprinting it's better to relax, drop your shoulders and let your body flow because a long relaxed muscle is a fast muscle.”
Adam Gemili on…. winning a gold medal at the European Championships in the 4x100m relay
“For me it was bittersweet. It was nice to win the gold medal because individually I ran the 200m and it didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to, which was frustrating, but it was a nice way to end. To come away with a gold medal is a special feeling that never really gets old, so it's cool.”
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Adam Gemili on… his 2018 performances
“I believe I should be running a lot faster, and it's just been a frustrating year with injuries. This sport is so brutal that if you get injured at the wrong time of the year, and you miss out on the little bit of work through injuries, the season's gone.
It's such a hard and difficult sport to be in, but yeah, it's been an underwhelming season, we'll say that. Relay gold was great, but individually not anywhere near where I should be and the standard I expect from myself. It was definitely a sub-par season.
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Adam Gemili on… the future
“British sprinting at the moment is in crazy place, and to be a part of the era, just even running with the guys is fantastic.
Once you make the team in Britain, you pretty much know you should be challenging for that final, and once you're in the final anything can happen.
Next year we have Dohr, which is the World Championships, so hopefully I can get myself in that team, push for the final and be in with a sh winning a medal.
Adam Gemili, is a member of the Müller Athletic Squad. Müller, the official sponsor of British athletics, have just launched the low-fat Müller Rice Coconut with Mango under layer (muller.co.uk)