British Athletics sprint coach Lloyd Cowan says Dartford star Adam Gemili still has a long way to go before potential yields international medals
Adam Gemili wrote his name into the history books this year but British Athletics’ lead sprints coach Lloyd Cowan admits there is still a long way to go if the Dartford runner is to turn promise into medals.
Since bursting on to the scene at the start of the 2012 outdoor season, Gemili has carried the weight of a nation’s sprinting hopes on his shoulders.
And this summer, while still a teenager, he raised the bar even higher as reached the 200m final at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.
En route to finishing fifth in his first major final, Gemili became only the second Briton to dip under 20 seconds by qualifying second-fastest in 19.98sec – the fastest-ever European teenager to do so.
But while admitting there is plenty to get excited about, Cowan doesn’t want anyone getting too carried away until Gemili finds some consistency.
“I think Steve Fudge (Gemili’s personal coach) and his team learned this year from things they did earlier in the season,” said Cowan, speaking at the UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette.
“They think it will be a great season next year and, at the European Championships, Adam will be a favourite. At the Commonwealth Games, it will be different because the Jamaicans can put out a B-string team and they’d still be good enough to get a winning time.
“Adam will grow from his experiences but we need to have some consistency in performances at championship level.” Having tasted the Olympic atmosphere at London 2012 – reaching the semi-finals – Gemili, now 20, will be eager to get in on the act in Rio. But Cowan says there is still plenty of work to be done.
He said: “We’re in a good state but we’ve got to be real – we haven’t got any kids running 9.6 in the 100m. So in reality, until we find a kid who can run a 9.7, we’re just in a good state.
“We’ve got James Dasaolu, who ran 9.92 in the trials and 9.98 in the World Championships. We’ve got Adam, who ran 19.98 at the World Championships in the 200m but they’re still development athletes. I’m more looking at Rio and also Tokyo 2020 for those guys to be established.”
The 2013 Gillette Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications. Applications for coaching grants available through the scheme will reopen in 2014, visit www.facebook.com/GilletteUK for more details.
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