Vindication for Adam Gemili in scorching British trials win as he sets a championship record in the 200m
- Adam Gemili set a championship record in winning the 200m title on Sunday
- He claims to have a document on his phone with a list of negative comments
- He was snubbed for individual funding in November, but has proved a point
There’s a document on Adam Gemili’s phone that lists some of the unflattering comments spoken about him by folk in athletics. On Sunday, across 20.08sec at the British trials, he rammed a few words down a few throats.
By setting a championship record in winning the 200m title, and doing so a day after finishing second in the 100m, he proved a point in the most emphatic and impressive of ways.
This being the guy, of course, who in November was snubbed for individual funding by British Athletics. Good enough for their relay funding, yes, because he was part of the 4x100m team that won world gold in 2017. But good enough to back as an individual? Good enough to be considered a podium threat at the World Championships in Doha and then Tokyo 2020? Nope. Not enough bang for that buck.
Adam Gemili set a championship record in winning the 200m title in the British trials
It’s vindication for the runner who was snubbed for individual funding back in November
And then came the response in Birmingham. What he did in the 100m on Saturday was impressive in taking second ahead of the European champion Zharnel Hughes, but to then crush Hughes again in the 200m, and to leave the favourite Miguel Francis behind in a distant third, was quite something else.
To hear him speak afterwards to understand something of the vindication he felt after numerous snubs and slights from selectors over the years, as well as the relief of hitting form after so many injuries.
He said: ‘I’ve got a phone and maybe one day I’ll show people the quotes said about me. I just look at it sometimes and use it as inspiration and fire to say, “You know what, I know what I can do and if I’m fit and healthy I can push the world’s best.
He claims to have a document on his phone with negative comments about him
‘To be labelled a relay runner is never nice, especially in an individual sport, but this proves to those guys it doesn’t matter how injured you are there’s always light and the end of the tunnel and you can come and run fast.
‘You have selection meetings and you sometimes see what’s said about you by certain people and it’s not nice but the only people I need to believe in me are my family, friends and my team.
‘Maybe one day if i do have a medal at Worlds or Olympics individually you guys will see that (document). For now it’s a private thing.’
Gemili’s time, which broke the record set by Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in 2017, was all the more impressive because of a 1.2m/s headwind. In still air he would have gone sub-20, which indicates he could yet be a serious podium threat in Doha, three years after missing the Olympic podium by three thousandths of a second.
Zharnel Hughes and Miguel Francis will be joining Gemili for the 200m in Doha
Hughes, who clocked 20.25sec, will join Gemili in the 200m for Doha, as will Francis. Hughes had been receiving treatment for a niggling hamstring strain but he was adamant it is not a threat to his participation at the worlds, which start next month.
Earlier. Jodie Williams achieved a heartening redemption by winning the women’s 200m. She once won 151 straight races as a child prodigy but form and fitness deserted her as an adult before her upsurge this season peaked with this gold in 23.06sec.
European bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw cleared a championship record of 4.73m in the women’s pole vault to win a record seventh British outdoor title.
There was a major surprise in the men’s 800m, which was won by little-known Spencer Thomas, who only ranked 11th in Britain ahead of the race. He crossed in 1:46.79, ahead of Guy Learmonth and Jamie Webb.