Smooth progression for Gemili

  • Last Updated: July 27 2014, 20:53 BST

England's Adam Gemili breezed into the 100 metres semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games as the fastest qualifier at Hampden Park - and then declared there was plenty more to come.

England's Adam Gemili was the fastest qualifier into the semi-finals
England's Adam Gemili was the fastest qualifier into the semi-finals

Beneath overcast skies, Gemili powered through the first 60 metres before easing off the gas to win his heat in 10.15 seconds.

The 20-year-old's team-mates Richard Kilty and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey also advanced to Monday's semis, although looked less impressive.

Kilty, the world indoor champion, came home in a tie for second in his heat in 10.34secs, while Aikines-Aryeetey got off to a poor start and finished third in 10.33, meaning he had to rely on a fastest loser spot to progress.

With Usain Bolt absent, the Jamaican trio of Nickel Ashmeade, Jason Livermore and Kemar Bailey-Cole all won their heats with ease, but Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson, who has run 9.82 this year, the second fastest time in the world, looked short of fitness as he scraped through in third place after clocking 10.33.

Gemili, who was greeted by a huge roar when introduced to the packed crowd inside Scotland's national stadium, is one of the biggest stars in the England team, especially in the wake of the withdrawals of Mo Farah and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

He said: "That was great, I wanted to qualify and the best way to do that is come and win your heat, so I went out there, really executed the first half of my race and just eased up for the second half, trying to save as much energy as I can.

"I probably should have eased up a bit more actually, but I'm fit enough to come back tomorrow and make the final.

"If I execute (my race) well, hopefully I should be able to push my time close to my personal best (of 10.04) and hopefully quicker."

On the reception he received, the former footballer added: "I've never heard something like that since the Olympics.

"I was doing my laces and I looked up and the camera was in front of me and I just heard a massive roar. It was unbelievable. It took me by surprise a little bit. Hampden Park has a big history of football so it's nice that I can come out here and experience that."

Kilty was less impressed with his run, calling it "sluggish".

"Hopefully tomorrow I will run a lot quicker," said the Stockton-on-Tees sprinter, who has struggled to transfer his indoor form into the outdoor season.

There were only a smattering of empty seats inside Hampden, despite huge queues to get into the venue, with some fans apparently waiting for more than two hours.

England's women made it a clean sweep of their athletes through to the 100m semis as Bianca Williams, Asha Philip and Sophie Papps all progressed.

Williams and Philip both finished second in their heats, the former in 11.37 and the latter in 11.47 behind the impressive Nigerian Blessing Okagbare.

Papps, a late call-up to the individual event, having initially only been due to run the relay, was third in 11.53, while Northern Ireland's Amy Foster also made it through in 11.62.

Kenya's Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku produced a kick worthy of the absent Mo Farah to win the 5,000m titles - and then warned the Olympic and world champion he was ready to challenge his dominance.

The 21-year-old, who had dyed his hair gold specially for his expected meeting with Farah, only for the Londoner to pull out of the Games following illness on Thursday, showed devastating finishing speed to land a medal to match.

Ndiku, the world indoor 3,000m champion, completed the final lap in 54.11 seconds to come home, eyes bulging, in 13mins 12.07secs. Even a fully-fit Farah would have to have been at his best to live with that.

Farah would also have been impressed by Ndiku's tactics and timing as he did not try to match the fast early pace.

In chilly conditions in Glasgow, the victor took the bell just in front of team-mate Isiah Kiplangat Koech, who could not live with the pace over the final 400m and settled for silver in 13:14.06.

The Kenyan, ranked fifth in the world this year, owes his speed to his 1500m background - he was world junior champion over the distance four years ago and African champion in 2012 - but he is now out to make waves over the longer distance.

Asked if his run had sent out a message, he said: "What the Ethiopians and Farah know is that I am not an easy guy to beat.

"I know they are not easy, but that does not matter to me. So long as we meet in the races, whoever will take it will have to be in good shape. But I am ready to face them.

"We are focused on Olympic Games (in Rio in 2016) and next year's World Championships (in Beijing)."

England's Andy Vernon was the first Briton home in sixth and admitted Farah would have had struggled to live with Ndiku.

"He will always be the guy that I'd watch out for in the championships. I think he'd definitely have given Mo a run for his money if Mo had been here. He's very good."

Elsewhere, England's Sophie Hitchon, the former ballet dancer turned British hammer record holder, reached the final with minimum of fuss, throwing 65.31m with her first attempt.

Her team-mate Scott Rider and Zane Duquemin from Jersey both reached the shot put final.