The sprinter says it is a “real honour” to be asked to lead the team at the Rio Olympic Games

Adam Gemili has been announced as athletics team captain for the Olympic Games in Rio, with the 22-year-old receiving high praise from British Athletics performance director and Team GB athletics team leader, Neil Black.

The sprinter, who will line up in the 200m as well as form part of the 4x100m relay squad in Brazil, made his major breakthrough in 2012 when he became world junior 100m champion. He then competed at the London 2012 Olympics where he made the 100m semi-finals at the age of 18.

Since then he has finished fifth at the World Championships in 2013, has won 2014 European gold over 200m and in that same year claimed Commonwealth silver in the 100m.

In 2015 he travelled as part of the GB team to the Beijing World Championships but was withdrawn from the relay squad as a precautionary measure against injury.

Speaking of his decision to ask Gemili to take on the role, Black said: “It’s rare that an athlete should have such widespread respect at such a young age, but his conduct, performance credentials and ability to unite people is one of the best I’ve ever seen in all my time working in athletics.

“He is a world class athlete, professional, respectful and a great ambassador for the sport. The captaincy for an Olympic Games is an honour and it’s one that Adam truly deserves.”

Describing his captaincy as a “real honour”, Gemili said: “I wasn’t sure at first whether to accept because I knew there were others in the team who had more experience.

“But I am so proud to be here, I love my sport and what I’ve experienced in the last few years and I’ll always do my best to perform well and support my team mates in whatever they do too.

“If a captain is measured by any of these things then I know I can give it a real go.

“I am so grateful that I’ve been on teams with so many great athletes and staff and how they’ve helped me to learn what I do over the last few years. I’ll be thinking of what they’ve done for me and use this as a way of saying thank you.”