British junior Adam Gemili runs a UK-leading 10.08 for 100m in Regensburg, Germany
European junior silver medallist Adam Gemili made a huge breakthrough today at the Sparkassen Gala in Regensburg, Germany, when he smashed his PB with a UK-leading 10.08.
Not only is it the fastest time in the world this year by a junior athlete, it also breaks Mark Lewis-Francis’s European age-18 best and is comfortably inside the Olympic A standard, putting him second on this year’s European senior rankings.
The 18-year-old, who before today had a PB of 10.23, dipped inside the Olympic A standard in the heats with a 10.11 (1.2m/s) clocking. Later on in the final and running with a slightly weaker tailwind of 0.8m/s, Gemili ran 0.03 faster.
The performance makes him the second-fastest British junior of all-time behind Dwain Chambers (10.06), and ahead of former world junior champions Mark Lewis-Francis, Christian Malcolm and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.
He also ranks fourth on the European junior all-time list behind world bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre and European junior champion Jimmy Vicaut. The European junior record is just 0.04 quicker than Gemili’s PB.
After winning English Schools silver in 2010, Gemili started to train seriously last year, culminating in winning the 100m silver at the European Junior Championships.
But all the while his main priority was football – another sport in which he excels – and he was playing for Thurrock, on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge.
This year, however, Gemili says that athletics has become a bigger focus.
“This year is more of a split, I’m a lot more focused on athletics,” he told AW. “Up until Christmas I was doing more football, but since then athletics has taken more of a priority in trying to make it to the World Juniors.
“I hope this year could be a turning point in helping me decide which sport to focus on, but it does depend on what I run this year.”
After today, it looks as though Gemili could be here to stay in the sport. When asked about his improved form, Gemili says that he has worked on a lot of the finer points of sprinting over the winter.
“I’ve mainly been fixing up my technique because it’s not been the best, so I’ve been working with my coach, Mike Afilaka, and trying to progress,” he said. “I’m going to try to make the World Junior team in both events. I think my favourite is the 100m, but I’ll try to do both if I can. ”
Gemili would be a heavy favourite for a medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, but then there’s the lure of competing at the London 2012 Olympics on home soil – should he make the team.
Elsewhere in Regensburg, Gemili’s team-mate and domestic rival David Bolarinwa clocked a 200m PB of 20.69. The last time a British junior ran faster was eleven years ago.
European silver medallist Christian Malcolm was the fastest over half a lap, running 20.46 to win his heat – his best performance for two years and inside the Olympic A standard.
UK champion Anyika Onuora clocked a season’s best of 11.31 in the 100m, followed by a PB-equalling run of 22.93 in the 200m – comfortably inside the Olympic A standard.