Sprinter seeking to make more progress, starting in Glasgow, after overcoming injury and selection disappointments
For Adam Gemili, 2018 is primarily going to be about developing himself further as an athlete and hopefully picking up a Commonwealth and European honour or two in the process as he looks to the future and further global medals. However, he admits there will also be a part of him running with a point to prove after what has been a difficult year.
There was the outstanding, golden, highlight of becoming a world champion as part of the men’s victorious 4x100m relay team but Gemili still feels he could have been a serious contender individually, had he been given the chance to compete in London.
Injury problems meant he could only finish sixth in the 200m at the British trials in July and he didn’t get the discretionary nod from the selectors.
“I was gutted about the selection for the world championships,” says the 24-year-old. “I still think, if I’d been selected, then I could have done well but that’s in the past and I have to focus on the new year.
“I’m going to use 2018 as a year for development, for getting back into sprinting and running fast. This last year has been a tough one with injury so hopefully I can clear that all up for next season and show I should have been selected.”
He adds: “Hopefully we don’t have any problems like that again. It was my own fault. It’s pretty simple – you finish in the top two (the British Championships), you run the qualifying time, you get selected and I didn’t do that.
“I made things a lot more difficult for myself than they needed to be so I know what I need to do now and, although sprinting is at another level right now, I just want to make sure I get myself on that team. Yes, maybe there is a bit of a point to prove.”
“I still think, if I’d been selected, then I could have done well but that’s in the past and I have to focus on the new year”
One of Gemili’s first chances to show his form will come at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on February 25, where he will contest the 60m alongside fellow world gold medallists Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and CJ Ujah.
The former European 200m champion will not, however, be competing at the World Indoor Championships which will follow quickly afterwards and will instead use the event as part of his preparations for Gold Coast, where he will run for England in the 100m and 4x100m relay.
Venturing north will also give him a chance to reconnect with a Scottish crowd which took him aback at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
“It’s one of my favourite places I’ve ever competed,” he says of his experiences at Hampden three years ago. “It was more to do with the response from the crowd. We were thinking of it as England and Scotland being different countries but it felt like I was at home in Glasgow. I’m really looking forward to going back.”
The Müller 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 both the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow and the British Athletics Indoor Championships are available at britishathletics.org.uk