Taking on Usain Bolt felt great, says Adam Gemili

Adam Gemili sprinting Gemili was nicknamed Road Runner during his footballing career due to his sprinting skills

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Twenty-year-old Adam Gemili spent seven years training at Chelsea FC's Youth Academy.

In 2011 he was sitting on the substitutes' bench for Dagenham & Redbridge in the Capital One Cup - a year later in the London 2012 Olympics he narrowly missed out on a place in the men's 100m final.

In the summer of 2013 he competed in the 200m World Championships final in Moscow against Usain Bolt, who later tipped him for greatness.

Adam put his training schedule on hold to answer some questions about his career from School Reporter Rebecca from Townley Grammar School for Girls.

Q - Was the best decision you ever made your switch from football to athletics?

A - I think in my life I have made better decisions, but it was certainly an important one, and one that changed the lives of myself and those around me.

Start Quote

Adam Gemili and  Usain Bolt racing in Moscow World Championships 2013

To make the 200m final and run next to Bolt was such a great feeling”

End Quote Adam Gemili

Q - So the past two years have been very busy for you. How was your experience at the London 2012 Olympics?

A - The Olympics was an awesome experience and I was very lucky to have the chance to run there.

It was a great competition to learn and develop and definitely had such a positive influence on me.

Q - Was it your aim to get through to the 100m semi-final at the Olympics? Was it a pleasant surprise or did you expect more?

A - If you had told me at the start of the year that I would have even made the Olympics I would have laughed, so to make it through to the semi and miss out on the final by so little feels amazing.

There is a little part of me that is disappointed but that just makes me more determined to make it next time.

Adam Gemili factfile

  • Born: 6 October 1993, London
  • 2001-2008: Chelsea FC youth team
  • 2008-2009: Reading FC youth team
  • 2009-2011: Dagenham & Redbridge FC (loan spell at Thurrock)
  • August 2010: Leaves Dartford Grammar School with A* GCSEs and an A in Japanese. Studies for a BTEC in Sport
  • 2010: Joins Blackheath and Bromley Athletics Club to boost his football career
  • July 2011: 100m and 4x100m relay silver medallist at European Junior Championship
  • January 2012: Switches full-time to athletics
  • July 2012: Sets new World Junior Championship 100m record of 10.05 seconds to win gold.
  • August 2012: Finishes third in Olympic Games 100m semi-final
  • September 2012: Starts Sports and Exercise Science with Human Biology degree at the University of East London
  • July 2013: Wins 100m gold at European Athletics Under-23 Championships in time of 10.29 seconds
  • August 2013: Finishes fifth in first major final in the 200m World Championships in Moscow.

Q - So, 2013 was where you showed your talent - 19.98 wow! How was racing alongside Bolt in the World Championships 200m final in Moscow?

A - To make the 200m final at the World Championships and run next to Bolt was such a great feeling.

I had had a tough year with injuries but to walk away from there with a new personal best - I couldn't have asked for more.

Q - You're in your second year of the under-23 category, have you changed many aspects of your training? If so, what?

A - I've teamed up with a new coach and group so lots of aspects of training have changed and I'm confident I will come out as a stronger and more developed athlete.

Q - What is your long-term goal? Will you focus on either 100m or 200m or both?

A - My long-term goal is obviously the Olympic Games and I want to be competitive amongst the world's best in both the 100m and 200m.

Q - Thank you very much for doing this interview, my final question is will you ever have a signature move like the Mobot or the Lightning Bolt?

A - Haha, I'm not quite as good as those guys to have my own signature. I just try to smile as it helps me relax and focus. Maybe one day.

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