Athletics: Olympics a bonus for Gemili as he targets World Juniors to fulfil his dreams

BritISH sprint sensation Adam Gemili is more focused on qualifying for next month’s World Junior Championships than pushing for a place at the Olympics. Gemili, 18, became the second-fastest British junior of all time over 100 metres when he clocked 10.08 seconds in Germany last weekend – well inside the Olympic qualifying time.

Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt warned Gemili about the mental strength required to compete in the Games but the teenager revealed his main aim is to make the World Junior Championships in Barcelona.

“At the moment my main focus is going to be the World Juniors and go to the trials and hopefully make the team,” he said. “The trials are only five days apart so my body will still be recovering and I don’t want to go to the Olympic trials half-hearted and not at my best. If I was to make the Olympic team it would be a bonus because the World Juniors has been my main aim this year.”

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Also a keen footballer, Gemili was in the Dagenham and Redbridge squad last season after starting out as a youngster at European champions Chelsea and did not even contemplate making the Olympic squad until his impressive outing at the Sparkassen Gala.

He said: “Before I ran 10.08 I wasn’t even considering the Olympics at all, maybe perhaps [I thought about] trying to run quick and get in for the relay but, when I ran 10.08, it became more of a possibility.

“It is a good situation to be in rather than a negative one because I have the option.

“It feels good because of the support I’m getting and the messages from everyone.”

Splitting his time between football and athletics was always going to be an issue when a time came to choose which would be the main focus of his attention.

He said: “Until this year I haven’t been put up into a formal set-up but now I’m on a much more organised and structured training regime.

“Between October and January I mixed football and athletics but the decision came to either stop athletics totally and go with football or do both and in January I decided to go with athletics.”