Dartford sprinter Adam Gemili among athletics heroes welcomed to Downing Street by Theresa May
PUBLISHED: 09:46 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:46 23 August 2017
Gemili was part of Great Britain's gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team
Dartford’s world champion sprinter Adam Gemili was among a number of British athletes invited by the prime minister to celebrate their success at 10 Downing Street this week.
The World Para Athletics and World Athletics Championships were both staged in the same city in the same year this summer, with the spotlight again being thrown on London, just as with the Olympics and Paralympics five years ago.
Both championships boasted record ticket sales and London welcomed more than 3,000 athletes from over 200 nations competing in 250 events.
Gemili was part of the men’s gold medal-winning 4x100m team, which saw off rivals including Justin Gatlin of the USA and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.
Theresa May said: “Everyone involved in staging both the World Para Athletics and World Athletics Championships should be incredibly proud of what they achieved.
“But it’s not just about the medal successes and the new records set. London 2017 will help to inspire many future generations to write their own place in the history books and to live healthier and more active lives.
“When it comes to opportunity, this government is determined to do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.
“Through UK Sport, the National Lottery and the government are investing over £38 million to support British Athletics in the four years to Tokyo 2020, to give our athletes the best possible chance to fulfil their potential.”
Niels de Vos, championship director and CEO of UK Athletics, added: “The summer of World Athletics was a great success and we are honoured to have been invited to Downing Street to celebrate the achievements of everyone involved, from the British athletes winning the medals to the coaches and mentors behind them to the support and organisational staff making the successes and championships possible.
“We witnessed some fine moments during the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships and the response has truly shown the impact athletics continues to have on the UK and beyond.
“I would like to thank the prime minister for welcoming us all to Downing Street for what has been another memorable moment of the summer.”
After the race earlier this month, Gemili said: “I don’t actually believe it’s happened. Last night I didn’t want to go to sleep in case I woke up and it was all a dream.
“But it’s reality and it’s something we’ve been working towards and every athlete in the squad wants to become world champion and be the best in the world and for us four lucky guys it’s actually happened. I feel great.”