May 20 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Adam Gemili takes a back seat as his Blackheath & Bromley Harriers club-mates impress in Bedford
While 18-year-old Adam Gemili has hogged the limelight since his emergence as a genuine Olympic contender in recent weeks, several of his Blackheath & Bromley Harriers club-mates were bidding to stake their own claim to fame at the World Junior Championship trials in Bedford last weekend.
Dina Asher-Smith, 16, headed the latest list of remarkable performances from the club’s promising teenage contingent when she smashed personal best times and club-record times in both sprint events at the International Stadium.
Triple jumper Jonathan Ilori and sprinter Tremayne Gilling were among others to excel and stake their claim for a seat on the plane to Barcelona next month.
And Asher-Smith believes the family atmosphere at the club is the secret behind their success.
She said: “They like to nurture their athletes and look after you from a young age. It means we love our club and I’m proud to wear the vest.
“I joined the club when I was 10 years old and I couldn’t imagine running for anyone else. I wouldn’t dream of moving.
“I’m in a bit of shock after the weekend. I wasn’t expecting to run those times.
“I seem to be stronger in the 200m, I prefer that. I didn’t used to have a strong finish, the last 20m was always the weakest part of my race. But I watched the videos back from the weekend and I timed my dive at the line far better, so I was delighted with that.”
Asher-Smith finished second in both the 100m and 200m to take home two silver medals from Bedford, but faces an anxious wait to see whether she will be selected to represent Team GB.
The Newstead Wood School student clocked 11.57 in the 100m final – though ran 0.03 seconds faster in an earlier heat – and followed up to cross the line in 23.57 in the 200m final, smashing the world juniors qualifying standard in both events.
However, rivals Sophie Papps and Bianca Williams have been equally impressive this season and any of the trio would be worthy of selection.
But with the decision now out of her hands, Asher-Smith is focused on finishing off her GCSEs before she allows athletics to take her full focus.
She added: “I’ve done 20 exams so far, it’s been rather hellish! There have been times where I’ve had to cut revision short, because I can’t miss training with the world juniors coming up.
“It’s been hard to balance everything, but I’m well organised and I’ve revised hard. I’ve got two DT exams left and I’ll be glad when it’s all over.
“I really hope that I get selected, even for a relay place. I would be so proud to represent Great Britain.”
As well as Asher-Smith’s double silver-medal winning performance there were six gold medals won by her club-mates.
Ilori won the triple jump with a 15.55m effort and Shaunagh Brown took shot put gold with a new best of 16.31m, before adding silvers in the discus and hammer.
Lorraine Ugen picked up the long jump title with a 6.15m leap and Serita Solomon (13.28) added the 100m hurdles title to her recent England Senior success.
Megan Southwart (59.06) and Gilling also won the 400m hurdles and 100m flat respectively.
Meanwhile, Gemili set a new personal best of 20.61 to win his 200m heat – the fastest time by a British junior since 1998 – but opted out of the final as he prepares for the Olympic trials in Birmingham this weekend.