Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Home Crowd Makes Such a Big Difference If the Rio 200m Final Had Been in London I'm Sure I Would Have Won a Medal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Home Crowd Makes Such a Big Difference If the Rio 200m Final Had Been in London I'm Sure I Would Have Won a Medal

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Majendie Sports Correspondent

THREE thousandths of a second were all that separated Adam Gemili from a place on the podium alongside Usain Bolt in the 200m in Rio.

Even Bolt, in his own golden haze, had words of sympathy for the 22-yearold Londoner, describing him as "a great young talent" and saying that the Briton "should be fine" in his pursuit of medals in the future.

Like Bolt, Gemili has been perpetually positive in his career, always smiling on the start line and at the finish, regardless of the result.

But after being denied a bronze by France's Christophe Lemaitre, he was crestfallen in his post-race interviews before admitting to bursting into tears once the cameras were off him.

"It's the worst feeling I've ever had on a track, worse than tearing my hamstring," says Gemili, whose injury last season denied him the chance to compete at the IAAF World Championships. "But I'm over it now. I've spoken to a lot to my friends and family and the guys in my apartment in the Olympic village waited up for me, which meant a lot. I've also spoken with my coach and psychologist. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

"I just have to use this huge disappointment as another motivating factor going towards London 2017."

It was in London's Olympic Stadium that Gemili first showed his sprinting talents on the big stage, the 18-year-old narrowly missing out on the 100m final. And he believes had his Olympic 200m final in Rio been in London, he would have ended up on the podium.

"If it's just one or two per cent, that would have been the difference between a medal and not," he says. "If it had been a home crowd, I'm sure they would have seen me through.

"And the stadium in London is genuinely my favourite in the world at which to compete. It brings back great memories and I've been lucky enough to race there a few times. I can't wait to run there again."

Since Rio, Gemili has been dissecting his race to see where he might have made up the time. …

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