Adam Gemili (Persian: آدام جمیلی; born 6 October 1993) is a British sprinter. He is the 2014 European champion at 200 metres, and 4 x 100 metres relay, and part of the Great Britain team that won gold in the 2017 World Championships in the same event.
A silver medalist in the 100 metres and 4 x 100 m relay in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Gemili is also a former World Junior champion at 100 m and European Under-23 champion at 100 m and 4 x 100 m relay.
Gemili won a gold medal over 100 m at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Barcelona. His winning time of 10.05 seconds established a new championship record, and is the second fastest ever run by a European junior, behind only Christophe Lemaitre (10.04). Having cleared the Olympic qualifying time with his 10.08 seconds in the 100 m in June 2012, Gemili competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he, after a poor start, came third in the semi-final in a time of 10.06 s, 0.04 s short of qualifying for the final.
He was selected to run the 200 m at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics. Having set a personal best in the first round, in the semi-final Gemili ran a time of 19.98, making him only the second British athlete, after John Regis, the third teenager (after Usain Bolt and Alonso Edward), and the ninth European athlete, to break 20 seconds in the event. 2013 was his first season training for the event.
Gemili won his first senior medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games coming second to Jamaica's Kemar Bailey-Cole in the 100 m final in a time of 10.10 seconds. Two weeks later, Gemili took his first senior title, winning the 200 m at the 2014 European Athletics Championships, in an equal personal best of 19.98 (−1.6 m/s).
Gemili was overlooked for individual selection for the 2017 World Championships, following early season injury, but was included in the 4 x 100 metre relays team. Racing both heats and final, he won a historic gold medal as a member of the British quartet in a national and European record, lifting the team to third on the all time lists behind USA and Jamaica. The race was also notable as Usain Bolt's last race; third at the changeover, Bolt pulled up injured and was unable to complete.
Gemili is a member of Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, and also a former football player for Dagenham & Redbridge and Thurrock F.C. having spent seven years in the youth academy at Chelsea. Gemili is the only man of Middle Eastern descent to run the 100 m in under 10 seconds, and the first Briton to run both the 100 m in less than 10 seconds, and the 200 m in less than 20.
Gemili is of Iranian and Moroccan descent, which he considers to be "a very weird background for a sprinter." At the age of eleven, Gemili attended Dartford Grammar School. He also attended Barking and Dagenham College where he studied for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, and hoped to attend university at some point. After the 2012 Olympics he started studying Sports and Exercise Science with Human Biology at the University of East London, where he wrote his dissertation on the effect of particular warm-up exercises on sprinting performance. He is a member of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers.
Gemili won a silver medal over 100 m at the 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. He also helped the British squad to a silver medal in the 4 x 100 m relay. At the National Junior Athletic League Finals Gemili won the 200 m in 20.98, which was the fastest time by a European junior in 2011.
Gemili ran an Olympic qualifying time for the 100 m and won the Sparkassen Gala in Regensburg, Germany, on 2 June 2012, just over three weeks prior to the British track trials for the 2012 Summer Olympics. He beat his previous best time of 10.23 in the heats, running a time of 10.11 and then ran a time of 10.08 in the final. That time was the second fastest 100 m ever run by a British Junior, behind only Dwain Chambers (10.06 sec). At the time of his victory, James Dasaolu was the only one other British athlete to have met the Olympic qualifying time for the men's 100 m. Gemili was selected for the British 2012 Olympic 4 × 100 m relay team on 3 July 2012.
On 11 July 2012, Gemili finished first in the 100 m at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics, winning the gold medal in a time of 10.05 seconds, breaking the championship record originally established by Darrel Brown in 2002. Besides breaking the British national junior record, Gemili's 10.05 ranks sixth all-time among juniors, behind only Brown, Jeffery Demps, Marcus Rowland, D'Angelo Cherry and Christophe Lemaitre.
He ran 10.11 in his first heat in the 100 m at the London 2012 Olympics, finishing in second just behind Asafa Powell. As he finished in the top 3 of the heat Gemili qualified for the next round but despite finishing third in his semi final in a time of 10.06, he didn't make the final.
He qualified for the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow for the 200 m. In his semi-final, he clocked a time of 19.98, the second fastest time ever by a Briton in that distance, having been bettered only by John Regis. He thus qualified for his first major final and finished 5th with a time of 20.08.
On 31 May 2015, he broke the 10-second barrier in the 100 m for the first time in his career, with a run of 9.97 seconds; however, the wind speed (+3.7 m/s) was above the legal wind limit. On 7 July 2015, at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, he ran his first legal sub-10-second race in the 100 m, again clocking 9.97 seconds (+2.0 m/s); however, he fell as he crossed the line, picking up a hamstring injury which would cause him to miss the 2015 World Championships. He is the one hundredth man to break 10 seconds.
Gemili qualified for the Men's 200 metres Final in Rio 2016. Gemili, Christophe Lemaitre, and Churandy Martina hit the finish line together. The photo finish revealed Lemaitre to be the bronze medalist, with only six thousandths of a second separating the three runners. In the 2017 World Championships in London, Gemili won the Gold Medal in the 4 X 100m relay running the 2nd leg.
Formerly a football player, Gemili played as a defender for Football League Two team Dagenham & Redbridge, and joined Thurrock on loan at the end of August 2011, where he made 12 appearances in the Isthmian League until 30 November.
He was previously a youth player at Chelsea from the age of eight onwards for seven years, and spent a year at Reading. His time had been split between athletics and football; he said of his potential dual careers in 2012, "I hope this year could be a turning point in helping me decide which sport to focus on, but it does depend on what I run this year."
In 2012 Gemili switched full-time to athletics.
|2011||European Athletics Championships||Tallinn, Estonia||2nd||100m||10.41|
|2nd||4 x 100m relay||39.48|
|National Junior Athletic League Finals||1st||200m||20.98|
|2012||World Junior Athletics Championships||Barcelona, Spain||1st||100m||10.05 CR|
|Summer Olympics||London, United Kingdom||3rd (Semis)||100m||10.06|
|DSQ||4 x 100m relay||N/A|
|Sparkassen Gala||Regensburg, Germany||1st||100m||10.08|
|2013||European Athletics U23 Championships||Tampere, Finland||1st||100m||10.20|
|1st||4 x 100m relay||38.77|
|World Championships in Athletics||Moscow, Russia||5th||200m||20.08|
|2014||European Athletics Championships||Zürich, Switzerland||1st||200m||19.98|
|1st||4 x 100m relay||37.93|
|Commonwealth Games||Glasgow, Scotland||2nd||100m||10.10|
|2nd||4 x 100m relay||38.02|
|2015||Diamond League||Birmingham, United Kingdom||2nd||100m||9.97|
|2016||Summer Olympics||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||4th||200m||20.12|
|European Athletics Championships||Amsterdam, Netherlands||1st||4 x 100m relay||38.17|
|Diamond League||Brussels, Belgium||2nd||200m||19.97|
|London, United Kingdom||3rd||200m||20.07|
|2nd||4 x 100m relay||37.81|
|Birmingham, United Kingdom||6th||100m||10.29|
|2017||World Championships in Athletics||London, United Kingdom||1st||4 x 100m relay||37.47|
|Diamond League||Oslo, Norway||4th||100m||10.13|
|Awards and achievements|
|Men's European Athletics Rising Star of the Year