Commonwealth Games 2014: Adam Gemili keeps mind on track after silver

• Gemili celebrates 100m with a ‘protein shake and ice bath’
• Sprinter is fully focused on 200m European championship glory

Usain Bolt likes to celebrate his medals with grease and a little groove – but not for Adam Gemili the temptations of fried chicken or a night out, even after his first ever major championship medal. “A protein shake and an ice bath, that’s how I celebrated,” said Gemili, returning to the familiar smile that lit up Hampden Park after his silver medal on Monday night. “There was pizza which I managed to resist. I’ve got the 4x100m relay to run, then the Europeans in a couple of weeks’ time. I’ve got to be sensible.”

Even when the adrenaline was giddying through his veins before the 100m final, Gemili was relaxed – something he put down to the techniques taught to him by the sport-hopping psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters.

“I’ve worked hard with Steve since 2013 and he’s taught me a lot about how to get focused in a second,” explained Gemili. “That’s why I’m able to smile and enjoy the crowd, and then as soon as I’m into the blocks it’s all about business.”

But the European Championships next month will bring fresh challenges. Gemili was a 25-1 outsider for the Commonwealth Games 100m title but in Zurich he will be the joint favourite for the 200m, along with the reigning champion Christophe Lemaitre. Not that Gemili is overly worried.

“There’s no pressure really,” he says. “I never really feel pressure.”

You believe him too. “Being a favourite makes no difference for my preparation,” he said.

“You have your own lane and nobody can really affect what you do. If you look at other people in the race, you will tighten up, so you’ve just got to focus on your own lane.”

“People could turn up and they could even get in front of me. You never know. But I’d like to think I can put myself in the mix in Zurich and I should be OK.”

Gemili also stressed the importance of his coach, Steve Fudge, who he joined last year, for helping him become a more rounded athlete – and believes Fudge’s use of advanced sports science and biomechanics could mean he will still be running in his mid-30s.

“Steve is a genius,” said Gemili. “He’s got such a great mentality and I totally buy into his theories about sprinting. I really trust him with my body. He loves sports science and we’ve incorporated that into our training a lot.

“I’m also very lucky I’m able to train with James Dasaolu, Chris Clarke and Jonnie Peacock. We’re all really pushing each other and trying to just work as hard as we can. That’s all because of Steve. He’s said to me he wants longevity in my career, so that’s what we are pushing for. I’m only 20. Dwain Chambers is 36 now, Kim Collins is 38 and still PBing. These guys have long careers so hopefully I can push on and hope for something similar.”

Gemili woke up on Tuesday wondering whether his silver medal might be all a dream. The explosion of applause he received on the podium provided a ready answer. But welcome news for British athletics is that he is not getting carried away. “The time in the final [10.10sec] obviously wasn’t amazing but with the combination of all the rounds and the cold – and it was very cold in the stadium – I was pleased to come away with the medal,” he said. “It’s been great to learn how to deal with the stress and the pressures. It’s a great stepping stone.”

And while Gemili admitted he was running on tired legs in the final, he believes that was a mental thing more than physical. “My body was fit enough to run how I ran through the rounds,” he added. “That wasn’t an issue. It was just the mental side of things that was very exhausting.

“As you get older and fitter you learn to execute a bit better. Unfortunately I did get beaten by someone but he was Jamaican, so that’s not a bad thing.”

Does he feel he has now earned the respect of Caribbean sprinters? “I think so,” said Gemili, with increasing certainty. “They’ve been ahead for so long and they still are another level [up] but we’re getting there.”

And he is certainly not finished yet.


Sean Ingle in Glasgow

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