Adam Gemili
Adam Gemili at Zürich 2014 (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full nameAdam Ahmed Gemili
Born (1993-10-06) 6 October 1993 (age 29)[1]
London, United Kingdom
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[1]
Weight75 kg (165 lb)[1]
CountryGreat Britain & N.I.
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)

Association football career
Position(s) Defender
Youth career
2001–2008 Chelsea
2008–2009 Reading
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2012 Dagenham & Redbridge 0 (0)
2011Thurrock (loan) 12 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Adam Ahmed Gemili (born 6 October 1993) is a British sprinter. He is the 2014 European champion at 200 metres, three-time European champion in the 4 x 100 metres relay, and part of the Great Britain team that won gold at the 2017 World Championships in the same event. He has finished fourth in the 200 m at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and fourth and fifth in separate editions of the World Championships in the same event.

He was the first British athlete and the first sprinter of either North African or Middle Eastern descent to run both the 100 m in less than 10 seconds and the 200 m in less than 20 seconds. He was also the first man of North African, Arab or Iranian heritage to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 metres.[2][3][4]

A silver medalist in the 100 metres and 4 × 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 × 100 m relay. He is a three-time national champion in the 200 m.

Early life and background

Adam Gemili is of Iranian and Moroccan descent, which he considers to be "a very weird background for a sprinter." At the age of eleven, he attended Dartford Grammar School.[5] Gemili also attended Barking and Dagenham College where he studied for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, and hoped to attend university at some point.[6] After the 2012 Olympics he started studying Sports and Exercise Science with Human Biology at the University of East London,[7] where he wrote his dissertation on the effect of particular warm-up exercises on sprinting performance.[8]

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.[6][9]

Sprinting career


Gemili won a silver medal over 100 m at the 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.[10] He also helped the British squad to a silver medal in the 4 × 100 m relay. At the National Junior Athletic League Finals, Gemili won the 200 m in 20.98 s, which was the fastest time by a European junior in 2011.[11]

Gemili ran an Olympic qualifying time for the 100 m and won the Sparkassen Gala in Regensburg, Germany on 2 June 2012,[12] just over three weeks prior to the British track trials for the 2012 London Olympics.[5] He beat his previous best time of 10.23 s in the heats, running a time of 10.11 s and then ran a time of 10.08 s in the final. That mark was the second fastest 100 m ever run by a British junior,[13] behind only Dwain Chambers (10.06 s). 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.[10] 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.[14] Besides breaking the British national junior record, Gemili's time ranked second among European juniors (behind Christophe Lemaitre's 10.04 s) and sixth all-time among all juniors, behind only Brown, Jeffery Demps, Marcus Rowland, D'Angelo Cherry and Lemaitre.

Gemili competed at the 2012 London 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.[15][16]

He qualified to run the 200 m at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics in Moscow. Having set a personal best in the first round, in the semi-final Gemili ran a time of 19.98 s, 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.[17] 2013 was his first season training for the event. He thus qualified for his first major final where he finished fifth with a time of 20.08 s.[18]

Gemili (second from the right) won his first and only senior major individual title with a 200 m victory at the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zürich.
Gemili (second from the right) won his first and only senior major individual title with a 200 m victory at the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zürich.

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 s.[19] 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 s (−1.6 m/s).


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.[20] Two months later, on 7 July at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, he became the 100th man in history to break the 10-second barrier legally, 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.[21][4][22]

Gemili qualified for the men's 200 m final at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He, 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; Gemili finished fourth.[23]

He was overlooked for individual selection for the 2017 World Championships, following early season injury, but was included in the 4 x 100 m relay 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 list behind USA and Jamaica. The final was also notable as Usain Bolt's last race; third at the changeover, he pulled up injured and was unable to finish.[24]

Gemili qualified for both the individual 100 m and 200 m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. He was eliminated in the 100 m at the semi-final stage, missing out on qualification for the final via a photo finish.[25] He narrowly missed out on a medal in the 200 m final, leading the race coming off the bend but ultimately finishing in fourth place.[26] He ran the first leg of the men's 4 × 100 m relay, winning a silver medal behind the United States in a new European record time of 37.36 seconds.[27]

Off track, in November 2019 Gemili led a group of 20 British athletes including Mo Farah, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Laura Muir who threatened to take legal action against the British Olympic Association regarding the interpretation of the International Olympic Committee's Rule 40 contained in guidelines which had been recently issued by the association. Rule 40 restricts use of Olympic-related terms in marketing by non-approved sponsors: the athletes argued that the BOA's interpretation of the rule was too restrictive regarding how they could promote their individual sponsors.[28] In March 2020 the athletes reached an agreement with the BOA which would allow athletes more opportunities to promote their sponsors during and immediately before and after the Games.[29] In July 2020, Gemili was announced as a board member of the track and field athletes' union, the Athletics Association.[30]

Football career

Formerly a football player, Gemili played as a defender for Football League Two team Dagenham & Redbridge,[6] and joined Thurrock on loan at the end of August 2011, where he made 12 appearances in the Isthmian League until 30 November.[31]

He was previously a youth player at Chelsea from the age of eight onwards for seven years, and spent a year at Reading.[6][13] 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."[32]

In 2012, Gemili switched full-time to athletics.[33]


Gold British 4 × 100 m relay team at the 2017 London World Championships (L–R): Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili and Danny Talbot.
Gold British 4 × 100 m relay team at the 2017 London World Championships (L–R): Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili and Danny Talbot.

International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Result
Representing  Great Britain /  England
2011 European Junior Championships Tallinn, Estonia 2nd 100 m 10.41
2nd 4 × 100 m relay 39.48
2012 World Junior Championships Barcelona, Spain 1st 100 m 10.05 CR
– (f) 4 × 100 m relay DNF
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 3rd (sf) 100 m 10.06
– (h) 4 × 100 m relay DQ
2013 European U23 Championships Tampere, Finland 1st 100 m 10.20
4th 200 m 20.51
1st 4 × 100 m relay 38.77
World Championships Moscow, Russia 5th 200 m 20.08
– (f) 4 × 100 m relay DQ
2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow, Scotland 2nd 100 m 10.10
2nd 4 × 100 m relay 38.02
European Championships Zürich, Switzerland 1st 200 m 19.98
1st 4 × 100 m relay 37.93
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 1st 4 × 100 m relay 38.17
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4th 200 m 20.12
5th 4 × 100 m relay 37.98
2017 World Relays Nassau, Bahamas – (f) 4 × 100 m relay 38.321
World Championships London, United Kingdom 1st 4 × 100 m relay 37.47
2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia – (f) 100 m DNS
European Championships Berlin, Germany 5th 200 m 20.10
1st 4 x 100 m relay 37.80
2019 World Relays Yokohama, Japan 3rd 4 × 100 m relay 38.15
World Championships Doha, Qatar 11th (sf) 100 m 10.13
4th 200 m 20.03
2nd 4 x 100 m relay 37.36 AR
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 47th (h) 200 m 158.58
2022 World Championships Eugene, OR, United States 28th (h) 200 m 20.60
3rd 4 x 100 m relay 38.491
Commonwealth Games Birmingham, United Kingdom 12th (sf) 200 m 20.97

1Time from the heats; Gemili was replaced in the final.

Circuit wins, and National championships


  1. ^ a b c "Adam Gemili". British Olympic Association. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  2. ^ Dirs, Ben (17 September 2012). Jonnie Peacock and Adam Gemili are going places fast. BBC Sport. Retrieved on 30 April 2013.
  3. ^ Gemili breaks ten second barrier, makes history. Retrieved on 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b Lewis, Aimee. (7 June 2015) Adam Gemili goes sub 10 seconds in 100m for first time – BBC Sport. Retrieved on 19 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b Hoad, Alex (9 May 2012). "Kent athletes get selected for Aviva 2012 Trials ahead of Olympic Games". Kent Online. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d Richards, Joshua (30 June 2011). "Daggers Academy's Gemili insists football will always come before athletics". Bromley Times. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  7. ^ Aarons, Ed (7 October 2012). "Gemili the fastest learner in the Olympic heartland". Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  8. ^ Ingle, Sean (27 April 2015). "British sprinter Adam Gemili is warming up for a hot medal summer". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Former Blue lines up for London Olympics". 19 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  10. ^ a b Hart, Simon (2 June 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Dagenham & Redbridge footballer Adam Gemili on 100 metres alert". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  11. ^ Calnan, Pat (1 August 2011). "Adam wins European silver". News Shopper.
  12. ^ "London 2012: Adam Gemili may give Olympics a miss despite fast time". the Guardian. 4 June 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Britain's Adam Gemili, 18, runs 100m Olympic qualifying time". BBC Sport. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Adam Gemili wins 100m gold at World Junior Championships". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  15. ^ Kelso, Paul (5 August 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Adam Gemili narrowly misses out on 100m finals place". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  16. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Adam Gemili". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 4 December 2016.
  17. ^ IAAF toplist. Retrieved on 19 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Bolt storms to 200m gold, Gemili fifth". BBC Sport. 17 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Commonwealth Games 2014: Adam Gemili straight into the 100m groove but Michael Johnson demands more to take the title". Archived from the original on 30 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  20. ^ Adam Gemili's sub 10 seconds 100m spoiled by wind assistance – BBC Sport. (1 June 2015). Retrieved on 19 August 2016.
  21. ^ Britain's Gemili becomes 100th man to run under 10 seconds. Xinhua (8 June 2015). Retrieved on 8 June 2015.
  22. ^ Adam Gemili out of World Championships on medical advice – BBC Sport. (16 August 2015). Retrieved on 19 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Usain Bolt's dominant victory in Rio 200m final makes it eight Olympic gold". Guardian. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  24. ^ Rumsby, Ben (13 August 2017). "Great Britain's men's 4x100m team ready to 'dominate' event for years to come". The Telegraph – via
  25. ^ "World Athletics Championships: Christian Coleman wins 100m gold in 9.76 seconds". 28 September 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  26. ^ "World Athletics Championships: Noah Lyles wins 200m gold with Adam Gemili fourth". 1 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  27. ^ "World Athletics Championships: Great Britain win silver in men's 4x100m relay". 5 October 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  28. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (15 November 2019). "Adam Gemili leads Team GB group threatening legal action over BOA's 'window dressing relaxation' of sponsorship rules". Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  29. ^ "British Olympic Association reaches agreement with athletes over sponsorship". Athletics Weekly. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  30. ^ Roan, Dan. "Katarina Johnson-Thompson & Adam Gemili join Athletics Association board". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Adam Gemili". Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  32. ^ Mulkeen, Jon (2 June 2012). "Gemili sets European 100m age-18 best with Olympic A standard". Athletics Weekly. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  33. ^ "Adam Gemili to run, not fight al-Qaeda". BBC. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
Awards and achievements Preceded byEmir Bekrić Men's European Athletics Rising Star of the Year 2014 Succeeded byKonrad Bukowiecki