Adam Gemili: GB sprinter relishes British 200m competition

Adam Gemili
Gemili finished fifth at the 2013 World Championships before missing the 2015 event through injury

Adam Gemili says Britain's sprint strength means just getting in the team would make him a strong medal contender at August's World Championships.

Gemili, 23, finished fourth in the 200m at Rio 2016, just three thousandths of a second away from a bronze medal.

However Jamaica-based duo Zharnel Hughes and Miguel Francis are among fierce competition for the two spots on offer at July's British team trials.

"Making that team - you'll know you are among the world's best," said Gemili.

"It is going to be really difficult. The depth is great and everyone is going to have to be in good shape for the trials because nothing is given."

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, the second-fastest Briton of all time over 200m after a run of 19.95 seconds in May 2016, Olympic semi-finalist Danny Talbot and promising 21-year-old Reece Prescod are some of the other contenders for a place in the British team.

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Francis had previously run for Antigua and Barbuda, but opted to switch to Britain in April. The 22-year-old is eligible for Britain as he was born in Montserrat, an Overseas Territory without its own Olympic team.

"For me it was slightly strange," said Gemili of Francis' decision.

"I don't really know his personal reasons for changing, but if anything it is more difficult to make the team in Britain than it is in Antigua.

"It is cool. It makes it more competitive. I'm excited to meet him and get to know him. He will be a great addition to the British sprinters."

British 200m top guns
Athlete Personal best
Miguel Francis19.88
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake19.95
Adam Gemili19.97
Zharnel Hughes20.02
Danny Talbot20.25
Reece Prescod 20.38

Gemili switched from coach Steve Fudge to the Netherlands-based training group led by American Rana Reider after last year's Olympics.

The rivalry between the two training camps became unfriendly in 2014, with reports of physical and verbal confrontations, but Gemili insists Britain's top sprinters get on better now.

"Everyone is close and gets on and when someone runs fast, you are genuinely happy that people are being successful. It make you raise your own performance and run even faster," he added.

As well as competition from his compatriots, Gemili hopes the power of his own mind will help him find the fractions of the second necessary to win his first major championships medal at senior level.

The morning after finishing fourth in Rio, Gemili spoke to psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters, who is famed for his work with the likes of Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and snooker great Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Gemili recalled: "He really hit me with it.

"'I don't know what you were expecting,' he said. 'There is no guarantee of a medal. It is OK to be disappointed, but if you don't want to feel like this, go and do something else. This is what sport is like.'"

Gemili concludes: "I know that next time it comes around I don't want to be that close again."

Adam Gemili
Gemili was a narrow fourth behind France's Christophe Lemaitre in the 200m final in Rio

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