Gemili admits using criticism as ‘inspiration and fire’ to run faster

The British squad for the World Championships is named in early September.

By Press Association Published: 25 August 2019 - 5.27pm

Adam Gemili has revealed he keeps notes from critics for inspiration after he earned World Championships redemption.

The 25-year-old won the 200m to become British champion on Sunday and automatically qualified for the World Championships in Doha.

He was only included in GB’s 2017 World Championships squad for the relays – being snubbed for the 100m and 200m – and helped win 4x100m gold.

His return to the individual events marks a turnaround and Gemili, who has battled a persistent hamstring problem and lost individual funding in November, refuses to be written off.

“I’ve got a phone and maybe one day I’ll show people the quotes said about me,” said the sprinter, who missed out on Olympic 200m bronze by three thousandths of a second in 2016.

“I just look at it sometimes and use it as inspiration and fire to say, ‘you know what, I know what I can do and if I’m fit and healthy I can push the world’s best’.

Muller British Athletics Championships – Day Two – Alexander Stadium
Adam Gemili finished ahead of Zharnel Hughes in the 200m (David Davies/PA)

“To be labelled a relay runner is never nice, especially in an individual sport, but this proves to those guys it doesn’t matter how injured you are there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and you can come and run fast.

“You have selection meetings and you sometimes see what’s said about you by certain people and it’s not nice but the only people I need to believe in me are my family, friends and my team.

“Maybe one day if I do have a medal at Worlds or Olympics individually you guys will see them. For now it’s a private thing.”

Gemili is also set to run the 100m at the Worlds, which start next month, and beat Zharnel Hughes into second – clocking 20.08 seconds – with Miguel Francis third in Birmingham.

All three are set to be in the British World Championships squad when it is named in early September, with the weekend acting as trials.

Beth Dobbin was beaten to the 200m title by Jodie Williams while Katarina Johnson-Thompson threw 40.07m in the javelin and cleared 1.90m in the high jump as she counts down to the heptathlon in Doha.

The 26-year-old, who competed in the 100m hurdles and shot put on Saturday, lost the high jump to Morgan Lake, who cleared 1.94m and will go to Doha.

“After four events I can’t say I was tired because I’m a heptathlete so it’s just a normal weekend for me but it did take it out of me having to do two hurdles races,” said Johnson-Thompson.

“I didn’t get the warm-up I’m used to through the hurdles final as well as the high jump and javelin. It was an experience. I have just used it as a good weekend out for my training.”

Muller British Athletics Championships – Day Two – Alexander Stadium
Matthew Hudson-Smith won the men’s 400m in Birmingham (David Davies/PA)

European 400m champion Matthew Hudson-Smith stormed to victory in 45.15secs and rubber-stamped his place for Doha.

“Before the race I thought I could go 44.10. The last 20m it wasn’t to be. I came away with the victory,” he said.

“Everything’s starting to come together and I’ve got a lot to work on ahead of the World Championships.”

Holly Bradshaw broke the pole vault championship record on the way to winning with a height of 4.73m.

Meghan Beesley won the 400m hurdles and Eilish McColgan destroyed the field to claim the 5000m title.

Laviai Nielsen won the women’s 400m in 52.04secs and, in the long jump, Abigail Irozuru took the title.