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Great Britain's Adam Gemili (centre) in action with Jamaica's Yohann Blake (right) and Bahamas Derrick Atkins (left) in the Men's 100m Semi Final at the Olympic Stadium on day nine of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Anna Dubuis, Reporter
Monday, August 6, 2012
Dartford’s Adam Gemili won a nation’s hearts last night when he asked if he could wish his mum a happy birthday live on television minutes after running in the 100m Olympics semi-final.
Mum Sacha said: “It was a wonderful birthday present, I could not have asked for more. I was very, very proud and happy. The stadium is so wonderful.”
Sitting on the other side of the stadium to the race, she and Adam’s father Az watched their son run the biggest event of his life.
“I was so nervous but very excited,” said Sacha. “He has done amazingly.”
He may have just missed out on the Olympics final but Dartford’s Adam Gemili proved he can hold his own among the big-name sprinters of the world.
The 18-year-old ran 10.06 seconds in the fourth 100m semi-final alongside World Champion Yohan Blake and World Record holder Tyson Gay and came in third.
However he missed out from the most-hyped race of the Olympics by just 0.04 seconds with Trinidad’s Richard Thompson pinching one of the two fastest-loser places with 10.02 seconds.
After completing the race he said: “I am disappointed because I have been working really hard with my coach to try and get a good start but I wasn’t there tonight.”
The performance was no mean feat for the former Dartford Grammar School pupil who wasn’t even a serious runner eight months ago.
Up until January of this year Gemili played semi-professional football for Dagenham and Redbridge.
It was only at the World Championships last month that he caught the nation’s attention when he clinched gold and became the second fastest European so far this year.
All eyes were on him when he lined up for the semi-final race on Sunday with huge cheers erupting from the 80,000 strong crowd.
Despite not making the final two of the fastest men in the world, Tyson Gay and Michael Johnson, were blown away by his technique, with Gay remarking “It was phenomenal”.
Gemili’s time at the Olympics isn’t yet over as he will take part in the 4x100 metre relay heats on Friday evening.