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Grounded Adam Gemili raring to make mark at World Championships

17:12 19 July 2013

Great Britain's Adam Gemili (centre) in action with Jamaica's Yohann Blake (right) and Bahamas Derrick Atkins (left) in the men's 100m at the London Olympics

Great Britain's Adam Gemili (centre) in action with Jamaica's Yohann Blake (right) and Bahamas Derrick Atkins (left) in the men's 100m at the London Olympics

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former Dartford Grammar School student Adam Gemili was one of the stars of last summer’s Olympics.

Just months after taking up the sport full-time, he came within four one hundredths of a second of reaching the 100m final, competing against the likes of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin.

As the one year anniversary approaches, he took some time out of his busy schedule to chat about last summer, next month’s World Championships in Moscow and why he still lives at home in Dartford with his mum.

Gemili said: “It’s been a really busy year. Surreal would be a good way to put it, with people wanting to talk to me, getting a lot of attention and being at the start line next to the likes of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

“I appreciate the support but I’m trying to stay humble and grounded. All these superstars are lovely people, really genuine with no airs or graces.”

The 19-year-old’s growing fame over the last 18 months has made him more recognisable when walking around Dartford.

But despite being hailed as the next great hope for British athletics, he is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground and still lives at home with his family in Dartford.

He explains: “As well as the athletics I’m studying for a degree in sports and exercise science at the University of East London, so things are pretty full on at the moment.

“I don’t think I’d be able to cope with living on my own with everything that’s going on and I love spending time with my family.”

Gemili will head to Moscow for the 200m having failed to qualify for the 100m team, but he says his main aim for 2013 was to concentrate on the longer distance because he wants to be a ‘versatile’ sprinter.

The junior world 100m champion added: “My aim is to reach the final, set a new personal best and then take it from there.

“The Rio Olympics are some way off so it’s hard to know what’s achievable. I always want to be competing for medals at major championships but my first goal is to break the 10 second barrier in the 100m.”

Gemili will be competing in the 200m at the World Athletic Championships in Moscow next month. The heats are on Friday, August 16 with the final the following day.

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