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Family matters to Britain’s fastest man

11:25 28 June 2012

Adam Gemili celebrates at the Olympic trials in Birmingham. Pic: Mike Egerton/PA

Adam Gemili celebrates at the Olympic trials in Birmingham. Pic: Mike Egerton/PA

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Adam Gemili reveals the unsung heroes that have helped him achieve an Olympic place

Adam Gemili has revealed the support of his family and coach has been key to coping with his new found fame since his emergence as one of the most exciting British athletes in decades.

The Blackheath & Bromley Harriers sprinter has been the subject of national interest since shocking the athletics world earlier this month to move into contention for an Olympic berth.

In four hectic weeks, since his 10.08 seconds run in Germany, Gemili has fulfilled his potential on the track and cemented his Olympic place.

While off the track the former Dartford Grammar School pupil has been the man everyone wants to hear from, with national TV, radio and newspaper interviews all completed.

But while others could be excused for being overwhelmed by overnight fame, Gemili has been characteristically laid back and is taking everything in his stride.

And he has revealed the secret to staying grounded lies close to home.

Gemili said: “The support I have from my parents, sister and my coach is great.

“It’s key for keeping me grounded and making sure I stay focused on the right things and to not get carried away.

“I went into my local newsagent last week and they recognised me and asked for a picture. It’s weird people suddenly know me.

“A lot of very talented athletes might not have had the same support from their family in the past when they were breaking through and maybe their careers have not been as successful as they might have been.

“I feel very lucky to have their support.”

Gemili’s mum Sacha is never far from his side, whether it’s watching from the grandstand or accompanying him to media engagements.

And, after crossing the line in second place at the Olympic trials in Birmingham on Saturday to confirm his qualification for the Olympics, that important handful of people were at the forefront of his mind.

Gemili added: “I only realised I was second when I looked up at the big screen.

“I was jumping up and down and looked straight for my parents in the crowd, my mum was crying, it was an incredible moment.

“I was just determined to go out and enjoy the trials. The Olympics only come around every four years and obviously it’s a home Games, so I thought I might as well try and give it everything – even just for the experience of competing among that calibre of athletes.

“When I heard London had got the Olympics in 2005 I wasn’t too interested. I never dreamed I’d be there!”

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