Road to Tokyo: Adam Gemili
Despite being just 26 years old, the London-born athlete is something of an Olympics veteran with two previous appearances and he is vying to go one better than his fourth-place finish in the men’s 200m at Rio 2016.
Although agonisingly missing out on a podium place in Brazil, the former footballer demonstrated his ability to mix it with the best on the biggest stage, having warmed up for the competition in style at the Anniversary Games.
Gemili posted a then season’s best time of 20.07s at the London Stadium - finishing behind only world record holder Usain Bolt, who would go on to claim Olympic gold - and Panama’s Alonso Edward in the standings.
Having also been a member of the victorious 4x100m team that year - a feat he matched in 2018 - Gemili is in no doubt about the sense of occasion that will surround the capital this summer.
“I’m usually down for the Müller Anniversary Games because it’s something I never want to miss,” said Gemili.
“The London Stadium is my favourite venue to compete at - it brings back all the memories of when I was 18 at the London 2012 Olympics.
“They always put on such a good event there every year, it’s so special. That’s why the best athletes in the world want to compete there.
“It’s massively important to have events like that before the Olympics because the British fans always get behind their athletes. It sets you up nicely for the Championships and gives you a little taste of what’s to come.”
While it remains to be seen whether Gemili will be in attendance at this year’s version of the Müller Anniversary Games, he is hard at work to ensure he secures a place on the plane to Japan.
And having tasted such bitter disappointment last time out, the 2014 European 200m champion has the bit between his teeth and could be among the British names to keep a close eye on in Tokyo.
He said: “I missed out on a medal in Rio by three thousandths of a second and that moment of realising that I had to wait another four years to get that chance again was tough.
“I’d been so excited for this year to come around and I’m ready to go now. There’s always a bit of extra excitement in an Olympic year but I’m determined not to miss the opportunity to go out there and hopefully bring back some silverware.
“I’m spending a lot of my time in the States and I’m focused on giving it my all. Running’s not complicated but I’m going to train every day, shed some weight, get a bit leaner and just try and run fast in time for when it really matters.”
Tickets for the Müller Anniversary Games (4 & 5 July) are now on sale and available via britishathletics.org.uk.