Dartford sprinter Adam Gemili's promising form continued as he recorded a new season's best performance in the 100m to claim third in a strong Diamond League field in Rome on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old World Junior Champion and London 2012 semi-finalist was handed the unenviable task of taking on rivals including controversial American Justin Gatlin, the fastest man in the world this year, elite Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Kemar Bailey-Cole and evergreen Kim Collins from the outside lane at a chilly Golden Gala meeting at the Stadio Olimpico.
With no one outside him the former Dartford Boys Grammar School pupil was slightly off the pace in the opening half of the race but produced a blistering final 50m to overtake Collins, one lane inside of him, and claim third.
His time of 10.07secs was one-hundredth better than his previous fastest time of the season, set at the Bedford International Games on Saturday, his fifth fastest of all-time and the best by a Brit this year.
Gemili reflected: "It’s a great feeling to come third in a field like that. I love racing – it’s what we train every day for, so to do it on a stage like that with an awesome crowd, it’s great."
World Championship 200m finalist Gemili is seeking to become the first Brit in history to run under 10 seconds for 100m and under 20 seconds for 200m and added: "(My start) was better than last week and the times are getting quicker so as long as I keep getting better and keep working hard I can’t see why I can’t keep it progressing.
"Hopefully I can glue that together with a good second half and the times should be quicker."
Twice-banned Gatlin eased to victory in 9.91secs with Carter registering a season's best 10.02 for second.
Gatlin ran the fastest time of 2014 - 9.87secs - when winning the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, last weekend.
Gemili's Personal Best remains the 10.05secs he ran to become World Junor Champion in July 2012 though he has run well inside the British Athletics qualifying times for both this summer's European Championships and Commonwealth Games and finished fifth in the World Championship 200m final in Moscow last summer.