Gemili eyes PB on big stage
Adam Gemili is ready to run the fastest race of his life to upset the Jamaicans and land a 100 metres medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow tonight.
- Related Content
The 20-year-old threw down the gauntlet to the favourites for the blue riband event at Hampden Park by qualifying fastest from the heats, blasting through the first 60m of his race to finish in 10.15 seconds.
With Usain Bolt missing, the event is more open than usual, although his compatriots Nickel Ashmeade, Jason Livermore and Kemar Bailey-Cole all progressed with ease.
Not too much can be read into heats, where the idea is to do enough and no more, but Gemili, who set his personal best of 10.04secs this year, looked in good nick.
The same could not be said of gold medal contender Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, who has run 9.82s this year, but appeared short of fitness and had to rely on a fastest loser spot to scrape through in third place in 10.33.
Gemili, who was drawn in the same semi-final as Livermore, said: "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 PB and hopefully quicker."
His team-mates Richard Kilty and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey also advanced, as did all three of England's women, Bianca Williams, Asha Philip and Sophie Papps.
There was a shock in the women's 100m, though, as Thompson's team-mate Michelle-Lee Ahye, the favourite, had to pull out through injury after finishing second in her hea in 11.52.
Scotland's national stadium was close to a full house, despite huge queues to get into the venue, and, in the absence of Mo Farah, the packed crowd was treated to a hugely impressive 5,000m win from Kenya's Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, who had dyed his hair gold for the race and collected a medal to match.
The 21-year-old produced a kick worthy of the Olympic and world champion as he clocked a 54.11-second last lap to win in 13:12.07.
England's Andy Vernon, the first Briton home in sixth was certainly impressed and said: "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."
His undoubted class did not earn him the biggest cheer, though, which was reserved from a 17-year-old from the Solomon Islands, whose reward for battling on as he was lapped three times was a new national record of 16:55.33 and the adulation of Hampden.