Search

Still: “Never in a million years did I think he would compete at the Olympics”

12:34 26 July 2012

Adam Gemili has emerged as one of British sprintings most exciting talents in decades. Pic: Dave Thompson/PA

Adam Gemili has emerged as one of British sprintings most exciting talents in decades. Pic: Dave Thompson/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

London 2012: Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still always knew Adam Gemili had potential, but reveals his shock at the sprinter’s swift progression

On Saturday, July 30 2011 an unknown right-back pulled on the Dagenham & Redbridge red and blue and gave the supporters at Victoria Road their first glimpse of his credentials in a 2-1 defeat to Stevenage in the first team’s final pre-season friendly of the summer.

Fast forward 12 months and while his football career may have stagnated, that unknown right-back has become one of Britain’s most exciting sprint talents in decades.

Adam Gemili, who continues to attend Barking & Dagenham College, has shot to international fame during an extraordinary eight-week period which has seen him become the fastest man in Britain, qualify for the Olympic Games and win world junior gold at a canter in Barcelona.

Not bad for an 18-year-old who, as recently as January, was toying between a career in athletics or his first love of football.

His emergence as the nation’s top sprinter, so close to the start of the Olympic Games, has come as a surprise to many. But those who have worked with Gemili at close quarters knew the laidback teenager always possessed something special.

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still recalls: “He always showed great athleticism.

“He was a good lad, I don’t know whether he would have been as successful a footballer as he has been an athlete.

“He always had the basic ingredients, but never in a million years did I think he would compete at the Olympics.

“But he’s being properly coached as a runner now rather than a footballer.

“Everyone at the football club is excited about what he is doing, what he can carry on doing in the future and we all hope he does well.

“Just getting through the first round would be a great achievement and we really do all wish him the very best.”

0 comments

Latest News

Fri, 15:36
Dartford fire station

It is thought the men were selling their loot overseas

Fri, 12:42
Police

Nicholas Bubb was caught with the cocaine while driving along the A249

Fri, 10:19
Gravesham Borough Council says the maintenance contract is no longer viable.

Gravesham Borough Council has been forced to scrap its contract with KCC due to the budget reductions

Thu, 17:08
Kent Police

The incident allegedly happened in Northfleet

Thu, 15:03
Boys at Gravesend Grammar School celebrate their success

Youngsters across north west Kent receive the grades they’ve been waiting for

Thu, 14:40
One of the teams at Gravesham Borough Youth FC

Max Ferdinand, cousin of Rio, is one of the club’s coaches

Most read

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder