BARCELONA, Spain - Great Britain’s Adam Gemili hopes to snap Jamaica’s stranglehold on the men’s 100m at global track and field meets when the 14th IAAF World Junior Championships starts today at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium.
The first round heats of the 100m will be run in the morning session. Gemili, who ran 10.08 seconds earlier this year, is also named in the Great Britain squad for the London Olympic Games.
Odean Skeen and Jazeel Murphy are down to represent Jamaica in the event and will be seeking to extend Jamaica’s run in the event to three straight after Dexter Lee won the last two renewals in 2008 in Bydgoszcz, Poland and two years ago in Moncton, Canada.
Additionally, Jamaican men have won every global 100m events over the past few years -- Bolt in the 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 IAAF World Championships; Odail Todd at the IAAF World Youth Championships last year; Skeen at the 2010 Youth Olympics; Yohan Blake at the 2011 World Championships; Jacques Harvey at the World University Games and Lerone Clarke at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.
Gemili, who is seeking to join compatriots Harry Aikens-Aryeetes, Christian Malcolm and Mark Lewis-Francis as British men to win the 100m at the World Junior level, described his reaction to running the 10.08s seconds as “shocking”. He said, however, he was not paying too much attention to his opponents when asked if he was aware of the Jamaican threat.
“I am trying not to focus too much on any one athlete” he said, “I just need to focus on executing my race.”
While he was happy to be selected to run at the Olympics in London, Gemili said the World Junior Championships this week were his main priority.
“The World Junior Championships is my main priority right now, I am focusing on this first,” he said.
He said he was in great form coming into the championships and he was not looking at times, given that he has run faster than the championship record 10.09 seconds.
“If I execute my race, the times will come,” he said.