Adam Gemili says rows between sprinters blown up out of all proportion

• GB should now compete with Jamaica and US, says Gemili
• ‘Ridiculously quick’ athletes emerging in Britain

Adam Gemili insists that stories of bust-ups among the country’s top sprinters during the winter were “blown up way out of proportion” and says it will not affect their chances of winning 4x100m relay gold at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Gemili, who runs in the 4x100m relay at the European Team Championships this weekend, also believes that the British sprint relay team could challenge the Jamaicans and Americans because of the emergence of a number of “ridiculously quick” athletes. In the past year James Dasaolu and Chijindu Ujah have broken 10 seconds for 100m, while Gemili crashed through the 20-second barrier for 200m by running 19.98 sec.

“It got blown way out of proportion,” said Gemili of the reported rows at Loughborough, where rival camps of British sprinters coached by Steve Fudge and Rana Reider train on opposite sides of the track. “Not everyone gets on all of the time but I don’t have any issues with any of them.”

“It’s not an issue at all for the relay,” he added. “If it was we’d be in trouble. And if we get the four fastest guys in there with good hand-offs I don’t see any reason why we cannot challenge the Jamaicans and the Americans for gold at the future championships. That’s saying a big thing with the Jamaicans having Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, and the Americans having Justin Gatlin, but I think we can do it.”

Gemili has focused on the 100m this season – and has been selected to run that distance at the Commonwealth Games – but says he plans to run just the 200m at next weekend’s British championships, which act as a trial for the European Championships in August. He said, “It’s a long season and there’s only eight days gap between the Commonwealths and Europeans. If it was one major champs in 2014 I may have doubled up.”

But the amiable Gemili, who has just finished his second year at university, says he is feeling much sharper at this stage of the season than in 2013 when he went on to finish fifth in the 200m at the world championships. “I’m in massively better shape now” he said. “This time last year I was just coming off the end of surgery in April and starting to train again. I’m fitter and have no injuries at the moment. So I’m in a good place.”

And Gemili knows the competition for sprint places among the British team is growing tougher all the time. “Everyone has stepped up their game,” he said. “We’ve got 10 guys under 10.2 seconds and I don’t think that’s happened in British sprinting for a while and hopefully the competition will drive each other. And it’s only June. You aim to peak at the champs in August time so you’ll see a lot quicker times then.”

Meanwhile the Kenyan 800m world record holder, David Rudisha, has announced that he will run in Britain for the first time since storming to Olympic gold at London 2012 at next month’s Glasgow grand prix.

Rudisha, who is one of 22 world champions and 25 Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists who will compete in Hampden Park on 11-12 July, said: “To return to the UK is something that I’m really excited about. Having only just returned to track action, my victory at the New York Diamond League has given me a lot of confidence and something which I will take with me to Hampden Park. I know the field will include not only the best athletes in the Commonwealth, but the world too. It will give me the best possible preparation for the Commonwealth Games.”

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Contributor

Sean Ingle

The GuardianTramp

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