Dartford sprinter Adam Gemili has Usain Bolt and the Jamaicans in his sights after winning silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last night.
The 20-year-old Blackheath and Bromley Harrier dropped to his knees in shock as the big screen at Hampden Park confirmed he has taken second place in the men’s 100m final in a time of 10.10seconds, just 0.02 seconds ahead of bronze medallist Nickel Ashmeade.
Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole won gold with a time of 10seconds flat.
Former Dartford Grammar School pupil Gemili said: “I had no clue. Honestly, I thought I ran out of it. I knew I got out well but the big guy has massive stride length and he just relaxed.
"He (Bailey-Cole) executed his race the best, but I was hanging on for dear life and I dipped.
"As soon as I saw my name, the time is irrelevant - it's my first senior medal, there are no words that can describe my feelings.”
Earlier in the day, Gemili was the fastest qualifier in the semi-finals with a time of 10.07seconds.
He said: “Hopefully I can use this as a good stepping stone for the Europeans in a few weeks and the World Champs next year, then going through into the Olympics. I am so happy.”
Gemili believes this medal will prove just the start of an exciting new era for British sprinting, pointing to the likes of James Dasaolu and Chijindu Ujah.
Neither of them are in the England squad for the 4x100m relay in Glasgow, but the 20-year-old is confident the quality at their disposal means they are capable of giving Bolt and Co a fright.
"I am very happy with the relay," Gemili said ahead of the heats, which begin on Friday. "The relay is going to be good.
"We're going to challenge the Jamaicans, who obviously have big Usain Bolt doing it.
"He is unbelievably talented but I think we're going to be in contention, hopefully be in the mix for a medal and we'll be pushing for a gold."
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson said: “Adam’s performance in the 100 metres final was truly outstanding.
"It was great for him to win a silver medal at the games and it great news for Dartford.
“As a former Dartford Grammar school pupil myself, I may be biased towards him but it was fantastic to see a Dartfordian representing England with distinction.”