Episode Seven: Adam Gemili video transcript


Radzi: Today's guest went from being a footballer to one of the fastest men on planet Earth, Adam Gemili. He's articulate, a history maker and one of the nicest guys in the sport.


Radzi: Hello and welcome to Making Gains with me, Radzi, in association with the University of Derby and Finnebrogues Naked Bacon, the biggest revolution to happen to British breakfast in a generation. Now this podcast is all about the pursuit of excellence whether that be strength, whether that be power, or whether that be speed and our next guest personifies that in abundance. H's a two times Olympian, he made a transfer from Chelsea to first class sprinting. He's the only man of middle eastern descent to ever run a sub 10 seconds, the only man in British history to ever lose sub 10 in the 100 and sub 10 in the 200. He is the European Champion, Adam Gemili welcome to Making Gains Sir. How are you doing?

Adam: What's going on? Love that, I love that nice intro thank you very much.

Radzi: Something I mentioned that you transferred from Chelsea to sprinting it's a crazy story. How did that even happen because most people if they're offered something that suggests a Premier League team name they grab it with both hands but not if your name's Adam Gemili.

Adam: Mate that was feels like a long time ago now. Yeah I originally started in football, um played it all my life really. Um I was really fortunate to get into Chelsea’s academy when I was sort of eight years old and I spent eight years at the club so I was there till I was 16 um but back in the day it was sort of like they were asking for more and more days off of school and there wasn't really the emphasis on the education side of it and my parents all about education, so they were like three days after school during your GCSEs my mum and dad were like no, so I had to then walk away from that and I tried I played for a couple of different clubs and then um I got a pro contract and but the pro contract wasn't like a Premier League contract. It wasn't my crazy contract, it wasn't enough for me to completely give up on going to university maybe which was a big factor. My parents were like why don't you try athletics for the year, you're pretty fast, we can see that I dabbled in it a little bit and then um see how it goes. If you don't like it if it's not doesn't go well just go back to football, you can find a club lower league and you can build your way up and I was like yeah cool. I tried athletics and started training full time sort of January of 2012 and six seven months later I’m, I’m lining up uh at the Olympic games in London. I was like what am I doing here, what's happening. Um so yeah I had sort of a quick progression and uh yeah it's just got better and better each year.

Radzi: I mean you say dabbled so you go to the European Juniors 2011.

Adam: Yeah but I went to the European Juniors but I was still playing football at Dagenham and Redbridge so I was at Dagenham and Redbridge at the time, and I said to them I approached the club and said ah I’ve been selected to um represent GB at the European Junior Championships, can I take a week off of training and fly to Tallinn and go, and they were like yeah, well they were so supportive though of course you can. Um I wasn't a pro yet um and they gave me the time there which I’m so grateful for, and and I came second at that Championships um and I was like and people were like what are you doing, like I was doing my literally I was doing my football warm-up in the in the uh in the warm-up area. I promise you everyone was looking at me like what are you. I was doing high knees, I was doing butt kick, like like putting my hands on my bum and like flicking my heels up I was doing a hamstring sweet I was doing my full, my full um my full football warm-up and it worked. I’ve got a silver medal. I was like, I was like yes um and then people started to say you need to take this more seriously, you could really do something and I was like yeah people just say that to everyone and then yeah luckily the one of the team coaches there, um I became really close with him and then yeah started training with him and yeah I said ended up running really fast the next year when I when I had a full years of training and yeah won the World Junior Championships and then went to the Olympic games at 18 years old.

Radzi: Hey that's off the charts. That's absolutely off the chart. So what do you do between that January 2012 and then the July 2012 because you've also got trials? I just want everyone listening to this to know that it's not a case of you've got talent, fingers crossed all might select you, you have to physically take at a time and become top two, slightly more convoluted than that but come top two in the trials against the Britain, Britain’s best sprinters including Dwayne Chambers.

Adam: Yeah and that was so I’d always see I’ve obviously know who Dwayne Chamber will have grown up and I’ve seen athletics on the TV and you see these guys and you see them on TV and you think they're like a different world away and then suddenly so you have to obviously run the, run the qualifying time so the time that year was 10, 10:18, I think so it wasn't actually even like 10:18 nowadays you'd have so many sprinters running that but yeah it was 10:18, I was one of I think two James Dasaolu was the other guy who had the time right. So you have to come top two at trials to guarantee your selection and then yeah I, I got to this 100 metres uh start line in Birmingham for the British trials which is for the Olympics election and I look to my left and my right and I’m seeing Christian Malcolm, Dwayne Chambers, Mark Lewis Francis. I’m seeing all these big names in in in a British track and field especially British history and I’m like what I’m like feel so out of place, I’m like see their muscles and so ripped and I’m just there skinny with my little club vest on just smiling happy to be there I didn't even get a haircut like. I look back at the videos I’m like what was happening and yeah I ran and I qualified I came second behind Dwyane that was the first time I raced Dwayne and that's when I really understood that track and field isn't just about who's the physically the fastest on the day, that makes a big difference but it's all about mental strength and can you mentally execute on the day when you've got all these people around you and and the pressure of the crowd and the TV being there and the occasion who's mentally the strongest because everyone there is talented, everyone there can run fast. what's going to give you that extra one and two percent and Dwayne over the on that day had mentally the advantage on me and and it showed, he won and then he ran the qualifying time and then we went to the Olympics so it was uh.

Radzi: The context though Dwyane straight after that basically faints because the tension just leaves his body. You've got Mark Lewis Francis, Christian Malcolm, these guys were not thinking about 2014- 2016. They were thinking about their home Olympics. Simeon Williamson, a guy who never tightened focused on that one race. James Dasaolu second fastest all-time over 100 metres for UK. We're talking about serious guys and along comes an 18 year old who's box fresh green as grass, got six months proper training in him.

Adam: I think it helped me a lot actually. I think that helped me a lot not understanding the scale of what was happening now if I go to an Olympic trials, my whole not just my whole year the whole four years cycle has been leading up to that trials, to make the team, make home Olympics at home. Olympics is not going to happen for us athletes ever again. Maybe in our lifetime we might be able to watch one in the future but to compete in one and I didn't realise maybe that's the journey that every single athlete on this start alone had gone through, that four year journey to make that home Olympic team and I rocked up that year came in fresh-faced, happy to be not really ,really realising the scale of the Olympics. Like I didn't being honest with you, I didn't, I had no idea until after I competed at the Olympic games and now I’m a full-time athlete and I’m training for the Olympics, I’m like wow that was mental was so it was just easy for me then um and now there's a lot of pressure, there's a lot of things that come with it, trying to, trying to run for your livelihood and back then I was just running just, just because I was fast people like you should run but yeah all these guys doesn't matter how fast you are it's that trials day. I will never forget it. I was, I’ll probably I think I took about three or four days off for training the next day just because I was mentally so fried. I was mentally that like the it was so charged and everyone was looking at each other in the courtroom and there was just so much testosterone and energy going around and, and I was trying to just stay focused on myself but yeah, I was just fried mentally for like after that trials and uh yeah my coach just gave me like three or four days off and said you just need to rest and relax and and yeah be cool.

Radzi: The other thing about that of course is you mentioned them being big guys. They're also all black. I’m not sure if Craig Bacon was in that race but.

Adam: Uh I can't remember but yeah you're right, you're, you are right they were all they're all black guys and for me I stood out definitely, I definitely stood out and that's something I’ve always been quite proud of is is my background and my ethnicity, where my parents are from. I’m born and bred in in London, I was raised in the UK which for me it's home, um but you look at my skin colour you look at my complexion it's different and sprinting has predominantly been a sport dominated by black people, black guys because they're just super talented. They're just it's, it's just I don't know what it is, it's just genetics or whatever so for someone like me of Middle Eastern and North African descent to come in and mix it with those guys, um it's nice because I help, I help inspired a lot of people with my sort of skin tone and complexion and from my sort of ethnic background to start the sport and get into it because they see me doing it. There's no reason they can't do it themselves so it's um, yeah I but you are right it's intimidating, it's massively intimidating it was when I was 18 years old, um and that's something I learned, had to learn to deal with as well you know.

Radzi: When you turn up to the Olympic games, so a lot of athletes specifically track and field athletes say European fans are the best in the world and a lot of them will say British fans are the best out of all the European fans so you then compete in a home Olympics in a stadium which is just a cacophony of noise and it doesn't matter if they say Joe Blogs is in lane one, the noise, what is it like for you again box fresh you're stood there and obviously people want to see the Jamaicans but as soon as they say your name, what was that moment like when you were there trying to focus?

Adam: Nothing, nothing can ever prepare you for how that feels, you know honestly like I think back to that time now and I’m like, I so before you go onto the track you're in the little tunnel bit, um on just off to the side just just left of where the 100 metre start is and people are leaning over and they can already see you and they're already screaming and you can hear the heat before you the 100 metre heat's going and people get introduced and then like lame one bloody blah from whatever, and the noise is crazy and then suddenly someone sees you about to come onto the track and then the whole the whole of everyone on those seats lean over and see you and they're like let's go Adam come on and then all the other sprinters are looking at me as well and Asafa Powells in my heat and Asafa Powells, a legend of the sport and he's just looking at me and he's laughing, he's absolutely laughing his head off, um and he because he can see I’m just like, I’m just looking around like this what is happening. I’ve never been in a stadium full of people like this before and they're all screaming for me and obviously you set your blocks up and when you're setting your blocks up you hear people shouting come on Adam, come on, and you warm up you do you do drive outs and then they introduce you, and yeah it came to me and I’ve that to the to this day has been the best reception I’ve ever received and everyone was getting great receptions but mine was yeah it was so different to everyone else's, it was just, it was crazy. And then I remember watching the screens I was trying to stay focused on, come on focus, you've got to run. I remember seeing Asafa Powell, he got a big cheer as well but not quite as big as me. He looks like he if you watch he sort of looks over it he's smiling at me as well because he knows um which is, which was really cool, uh and then we raced um and then I came second behind him which was, which was awesome and then yeah you just you've done it, I’m like right I’m an Olympian, it's happened, the crowd is screaming for you and it's just, it makes you so proud to be British because it doesn't matter who was running, British people love sport and they love getting behind their athletes and they did that for every single Brit at that games which was something I’ll never forget.

Radzi: You say for Powell, for me controversial, I think he's the most talented sprinter of all time, just ridiculous unbelievable the amount of times sub 10 seconds off the charts but I’ve got to ask what is it like to compete against Usain Bolt?

Adam: Mental, mental, honestly like I’ve never every time I’m on the start line I back myself you have to if you're in this if you're in sport and you're trying to be the best you have to have that self belief, be humble with it but you have to have that self belief that on that day you're going to win. So the first time I actually raced Usain Bolt wasn't that the Olympics, it was the next year in in Moscow and the 200 metres at the World Championships so I made the final of the 200 metres 19 years old, really happy just run sub 20. I was feet I was feeling so confident and I was in lane six and Usain was in inside me in lane five and I was like okay let's go. I remember getting out bang, bang, bang 200 metres I got to about 50 meters and I was like I’m good, I’m good and then all of a sudden I don't know what happened I just saw these high Jamaican knees and I was like what just happened and then I was like no, no I’m going to go with him, I’m going to go with him and I tried to then chase him like kick again at 50 metres and you know 200 metres, it's all about distribution of your energy where, where am I going to distribute my energy, well like in the start and then maintain and then kick again off the bend and I didn't I just tried to run gun to tape to catch up with him and he just got further and further and further away from me and yeah I’ve never physically looked at the back of someone bib while they're running and see when you're sprinting people are ahead but it's always like they're always in your peripherals and stuff but he was so far ahead, and yeah in his day on in his prime unbeatable by anyone in the world. He’s just, he was just ridiculous like Asafa Powell’s amazing as well but Usain was just, just an absolute freak of nature. He was just amazing and what he did for us for the sport like he raised the profile for someone for a track and field athlete to be able to do that have that global reach. Yeah it's hard to find someone with that charisma and talent in track and field, hopefully yeah we probably won't see that for a very long time so.

Radzi: Dude beautifully said. Can we, can we actually look at that race would you mind talking us through actually because that was it was a special race to watch a special race for you and so as you say lane you're centre of freight.

Adam: I’m lane six uh, one, two, three ,I’m five, he's four okay.

Radzi: There we go yeah.

Video voiceover: There we go Jamaicans are one, two, three.

Adam: Let me get out and I’m like, yeah I said I’m getting out well 20 metres as well 30, 40, 50 and then look he just goes, I’m like right we're going to go with him, here we're going to go with him, I just didn't transition off the bend and I’m like trying to chase and I can see Nickel Ashmeade on my right and I’m like right come on, tear up just get past him and you've got the bronze, get past him and then Curtis Mitchell comes out of nowhere, lane three and that was just lack of experience for me, not relaxing not and just tightening up and uh, yeah Usain Bolt, look at him just chilling, 19-7 or whatever he ran like.

Radzi: Do you know the crazy thing is about you though is you do go, you go with guys and what I genuinely admire about you is whether it's a good race or not you're a competitor, and I think you can see first of all in the starting blocks you can see somebody when the lane call happens you can see if they really believe it and every time you believe it. And I think whether we talk about Rio 2016 or Doha 2019, you are there not to make up numbers not to fill up lanes, you're not there to say I was there you are there to meddle and there to win regardless whether it happens you can see that.

Adam: You have to be if you want to be like I said successful in any sport you have to have to believe and it's not people say that and sometimes they don't believe it. I genuinely believe why should x y and z just because they're from the USA or Jamaica like just, just because they're from those countries why should they be any better than me. There's no reason to I said every, everyone on that start line's got talent so what why can't I win and uh I’m not there to make up numbers and I’ve been I’ve been on pretty much every British team since 2012 like I’ve made every team. And there are definitely people on teams I don't want to say, I don't want to call people out but there are definitely people on teams that are there and are so happy to make a semi-final, put a picture on Instagram or Twitter, get the love that they want from social media, oh great job, you did so well next time next time and for me I see that as a failure. Like that that for me is a failure. If I’m not aiming to be the best, what am I doing. I get sacrificed so much to be in the sport and move myself away from my family, my girlfriend, my friends, I don't get regular, why am I sacrificing all this stuff, training putting my body through pain, to make a semi-final, like it just makes no sense to me. So for me yeah, you have to believe you're going to wait to win every time you step on the track even if you've got someone like Usain Bolt inside of you.

Radzi: Yeah can I, can we talk about your sub 10 100 because that yeah, that was something special because on the one hand you go from a man who's never gone sub 10, to doing it legally and then the nightmare situation happens.

Adam:Yeah, no yeah so Birmingham, Birmingham Diamond League 2015, I’d run sub 10 the week before but it was windy in Bedford so I knew my body could do it and I’ve done it I’ve done it in training so many times even like I’ve done and you do it in training but it's about executing it on the day in that race environment which is when the mental side of things come, um and yeah got out, got out ran 10 flat in the heat, so I was thinking I was feeling pretty good. I was feeling really good, semi-final comes big tear-up in the semi-final, the final came of the Diamond League, big tear up. We start the race, um Marvin Bracey got out ahead. I had such a bad start and I was chasing the whole time and I was chasing, chasing and chasing and then I felt myself coming through like I normally do but towards the back end of the race and I dipped like it stupid like it was an Olympic final. I just wanted to win so badly that I just dipped and threw myself at the line I lost my balance and I sort of like tried to catch myself and as I’ve landed, I felt my hamstring go like bang. I felt like. I felt it just got popped like I’m like a lack of a shot and I just dropped to the floor and I rolled over and sort of like stopped, stopped instantly and I knew I’d done some serious damage. I’ve never felt pain like that it was one of the most excruciating things and I was like I had my head on the track and then I could hear people cheering, what are they cheering I look up at this, I look I literally I’m like this and I look through my sort of hand and I look up at the screen I see 9.97 Adam Gemili and I’m like I sort of now I can laugh, laugh at it but at that time I was, I just couldn't believe I’d run sub 10 and I’d done it in this such, this weird way and I knew it was pretty late on in the season it was like June, June time at the mo, I think June or July, something like I come it was pretty late on in the season and I thought I’ve really done myself some serious damage but we'll see. Went for a scan that same day there's so much oedema, there's so much blood and fluid in the hamstring but the doctor sat me down and said yeah this is not good, you've done some serious damage to your hamstring here, um I’d be surprised if you run at all this season. Um which was heart breaking because when you're, you're at the peak of performance you, you're feeling that you're in great shape and you're starting to show people that and then you have a setback like that and heart breaking, heart breaking but yeah because.

Radzi: I was actually funnily enough behind your family.

Adam: Oh no.

Radzi: I remember as soon as it happened it was your sister had the strongest reaction because as soon as it happened everyone was gutted and then there was, basically reminded me of my mum because my mum doesn't care who's listening, Boris Johnson could be next to her and if she thinks there's an injustice or something's happened to her little boy, she's going berserk and I that was my big memory that was my big memory of that. Can we, can we take a look at that one as well?

Adam: Yeah of course we can.

Radzi: Yeah so here we are so in the blocks, like you say Bracy's there. He's the big rival he's going to get out hard big powerful guy.

Ada: Yeah so Bracy’s racing next to me. I’m in the middle. Bracy gets that well I got Rogers to my right, he gets out pretty well and I’m just chasing and he's getting further and I’m like keep your form keep working. I’m coming through threw myself at the line dropped like a sack of potatoes. Oh my God instantly I knew holding my hamstring, I knew and I’m on the floor like that.

Radzi: Bracy's actually hurt himself as well.

Adam: Yeah he got hurt himself as well and I’m like, and all these doctors are coming around and they're like are you okay? What have you done? And I’m like it's my hamstring.

Radzi: Because the crazy thing was looking at it from the layman it didn't look like an incredible race from you. You wouldn't think that was sub 10.

Adam: It's a terrible race, absolutely terrible race. I dipped as a racer and I tried to catch myself and it was on a step just before that I caught it and then I literally came to a stop. Imagine running that speed and coming to a stop instantly, it's so painful. It nested it out pretty well and then yeah. I started coming through I was like yeah right back myself, come through and then you'll see yeah, once yeah, yeah, you can see I catch like land in front of myself which is, you're putting all that speed and then instantly breaking your hamstring just can't deal with that and it's just gonna bang pop.

Radzi: Wow.

Adam: Yeah horrible.

Radzi: And the crazy thing about athletics that's, that's the same venue that three years prior you do the unthinkable and qualify for the Olympics and it's, it's amazing you can have that kind of polarized experience.

Adam: Yeah it's highs and lows that Birmingham like and that's that's track and field. that's that sport and that's like you're here talking about talking about the pursuit of excellence and that's what that's what excellence is all about it's like, I remember chatting to my girlfriend about it and she was talking about like motivation and some days she wakes up and there's she's got no motivation but you're going to have highs and lows and just because people are in sport or whatever business they're in it doesn't mean they don't wake up some days and don't have motivation. Everyone has that everyone has those days what makes people who want to be the best different is regardless of that they'll still get up and they'll they're committed to what they're doing and they'll find a way to get it done. Some people wake up and they're not motivated to do what they want to do, um they just won't do it and they'll just sit down I’m not, I can't be bothered to do that today I’ll sit down and do something else. For me and other, it's my job I have to. If I don't train no one else is going to train for me and there's definitely days where you wake up and you're like oh it's cold, it's raining, I’ve got a bit of soreness here, doesn't matter, you have to find a way to commit to what you're doing and mentally find a way to to get into a good habit where you, you just do it. Um so like I said you have highs and lows in track and field and and that's part and parcel of the sport.

Radzi: I don't think everyone knows how hard athletes train in terms of what, what does a track session look like? And I know it changes throughout the season whether it's off season, whether you're periodising whatever, what does that look like?

Adam: Yeah track and field is super hard, one of the hardest sports I think you could, you there is. Um I think for me a typical track session would be I’d get to the track let's say a winter session, so I get to the track so I know it's going to be cold and I’m going to die. I’m going to be getting lactic acid and not many people I think have experienced that feeling of having lactic it's, it's awful. It is it's like putting your legs in a vice and then having them tightened and then tightened and then there's a, it feels like a poison just rushes over you so yeah we'll get to the track and we'll we'll warm up. So my warm up will be about 45 minutes, we'll include lots of running warm-up drills, stretching - static stretching, dynamic stretching, um everything to get yourself ready to run fast and then we might do a session um six times 300 or something like that and each 300 has to be between I know 37 or 38, something like that. So it's, it's not like running flat out but it's still pretty quick pace, it's like a what a 12 13 second hundred metre pace, so to maintain that and you'll do a couple, you do one or two and you'll be like you'll be starting to feel a bit tired and you'll probably get four minutes, five minutes recovery in between each run okay
and then your legs just get heavier and heavier. Um once you've done that, once you've done the running session if you manage to make it through that you'll then have to do some sort of med ball circuit or like some sort of plyometric circuit, whereas bounds or hops or jumps, band walks, um followed by some sort of core then we'll usually take a little break and then we'll go straight into the gym and we'll lift in the gym for a good hour and a half, um and pushing your body weight to the limit, um and you do that every day. You do that everyday um and it's recovery, can I recover so you come home from training and you're sitting at home and you're so tired and you have to try and recover for the next day training and then, then you have all these people that are saying, oh do this and people that don't understand the sport, oh you finish training now you should be able to do whatever you want but it's so tough and it changes like, instead of a longer session you could do a block session where it's like you're running with the best people in the world and you've gotta, I train with some of the best sprinters in the world and if you're not on it they're gonna make you look stupid and you have to do block starts with them and absolutely run and fly so uh, yeah it's uh, it's, it's pretty brutal and there's no guarantee in sport, there's no guarantee in track and field. You can do all that work and still not get the results that that you want so it's um, yeah it's it's tough, it's really tough.

Radzi: You've competed against the best in the world, you train with some of the best in, the world. ou Andrei Gracie G's in your, in your training group. Who's the biggest beast you've ever trained with?

Adam: The biggest beast I’ve ever trained with? So right now I train with some crazy sprinters Trayvon Bromell. I train with Marvin Bracy, Divine Oduduru, who was the NCAA guy like Jimmy Vicaut, who's my, who's my roommate. I can hear him outside making breakfast, he's been so noisy. Uh the biggest beast that's a tough question because I’ve trained with some really big beasts. In terms of female Ashleigh Nelson, was one of the biggest beasts I’ve ever trained with.

Radzi: She, she's so underrated by the way, Ashleigh Nelson, I feel like she just hasn't been able to put it together but it's and she's missed out on trials a couple of times you think, oh my goodness Ashleigh.

Adam: That girl, was that girl was ridiculous, that girl was absolutely ridiculous. I spent a lot of time with her and we've been through a lot of struggle on the track you know, when you're all dying, you're throwing up, she's on my shoulder throwing up and I’m on her shoulder but she is as soon as this run time out of her mind, she just gets down left, right, left, right and she'll run past you and she'll make, she'll let you know that, she's run past you as well so it makes you like come on though so in terms of female she is an absolute beast. In terms of male ones, I’ve trained with a lot of beasts man James Dasaolu was an absolute animal. He just couldn't, his body at that time he couldn't put in as much work as I know he would have liked to have put him. Um Jimmy Vicaut, is just is born like, Jimmy Vicaut is just a born, he's just genetically made for it. He's just ridiculous. he's been like that since we were 18 years old since we were both juniors, he's just absolutely just powerful built for sprinting. Um so yeah there's a few, there's a few uh, all the guys I’ve trained with have to be at this level, you have to be a beast, you have to be able to separate that but it's then that's when the great gets separated. You can, you can do it in training but then can you do it at competition. Not everyone can.

Radzi: In terms of numbers in the gym, what kind of numbers are you power cleaning? What's your PB?

Adam: So I can, I can hang clean 150 kilos. Um I’m 70, I was like 78,77 ,78, yeah so I’m lifting pretty well for my body weight. Uh my bench isn't great. I can only bench 125 and some a lot of the other guys can bench a lot more than me. Um I can squat pretty heavy um, not for deep squat for half like, half squat I’ve done 250 so that's a pretty good, that's a pretty good half squat for me, um which is good. Uh what other lifts do we do hang snatch I prefer to hang we do power cleans and stuff off the floor but I prefer to have to have it hung. Hang snatch I’ve done 95, I missed out on 100 but I’ve done 95 so I can lift pretty well for my body weight as well power but I can really and I’ve got not bad techniques. A lot of a lot of the uh British weightlifters that I’m friends with anytime I put a video up on a Instagram they're always the first to go, do this do that dude. Um yeah they're uh, I’m pretty strong, I’m pretty strong which is.

Radzi: But what's crazy about sprinting is you have somebody like Warren Weir or Christophe Lemaitre, just is how how are you able to do that and then at the other end of grass.

Adam: Exactly yeah not big lifters in the gym not powerful just fluid, fluid, flow, yeah mad.

Radzi: And then you have a Harry Aikines-Aryeetey who just lifts ridiculous numbers in the gym.

Adam: Yeah Harry. I think harry's power clean or something is like 170 which is, which is body that's like bordering on being a weightlifter. that's ridiculous. But then there's a balance, there is a balance everyone's different, everyone sprints different. There's not one way to tie your laces, there's not one way to sprint, there's not one way to do this sport so everyone's different. Some people it works being that strong and they need to be that powerful. Other people if they get too big and powerful it actually becomes negative because you've got to carry that weight down the track with you as well. Power to weight it's all, it's all relative so um yeah that's why I love track and field because you get every which body shape and body type and technique and everything.

Radzi: When you first started sprinting you could see you ran like a footballer basically and that's evolved over time, do you think anyone can get quicker with training and the right coaching?

Adam: 100 percent. I’ve always said this if you want to be the best of the best obviously genetics plays a, plays a part, like you're going to have to have the fast which you're going to have to have those genetics, have that natural talent but I’d say it's all technical stuff, if people, when I and I’m, I’ve become such a sprinting like a running snob as soon as I see people running like on a TV in a TV, I’m like that is just not efficient at all like it's and you can see it as soon as you learn to just what you're looking for, you see how inefficient people are and how hard people try to and they move so laterally and but yeah definitely if you can if you get coached and you're getting coached by the right person and, and mentally you understand the mechanics of sprinting and you can, you have to understand the mechanics of sprinting, as soon as you understand it you can learn it, and as soon as you learn it you'll improve. Um so yeah but anyone can learn it I could definitely take someone whose PB is 13 seconds and I could I with, with a couple of months of hard training I guarantee you I could make them run at least half a second, if not a second faster just from doing technical stuff, just from conditioning their body right. So um it's definitely possible.

Radzi: It's a question it winds me up when I hear footballers, rugby players talking about oh yeah I can run 10 flat and they have no clue what 10 flat looked like.

Adam: That's the same, that's what, that's like when you used to go when you go in football, we used to go like in in school and they're like oh just had our sports day what'd you write, they're like yeah 10.2 10.3 and this is like talking about like, I know what you mean I know exactly what you mean. It doesn't to me I find it quite funny, I find it quite funny when they it's usually not even the footballers, it's usually like the media that that like are saying I remember we had one with like Hector Bellerin years ago and he like Hector Bellerin is, is the, can run like a six three sixty meters or something crazy and I knew someone that knows Hector Bellerin and and he was like Hector doesn't know what like where that's even come from because all these sprinters started getting angry on on uh on social media like oh I’ll challenge you to a race and this and that and you, you'll be destroyed and I’m just like what these people actually half the time don't even know what's happening. But yeah it's quite it is quite interesting I think I’ve always said this and I think a lot of athletes have said I don't know how practical it would be to put like maybe not even, maybe even a sports person from a different sport but just the random Joe Blogs in the race with them just to see the difference of it doesn't even have to be like an Olympic standard. I guarantee you club level sprinters are going to be destroying most people just off the street or even most normal sports people most footballers so um, it would be good to see that and have that sort of comparison just to yeah just to see where, where it sort of uh the differences are.

Radzi: What do you reckon Cristiano Ronaldo at his fastest runs? You put him in a pair of spikes, zero training we just presume it carries over, he's given blocks if he wants them, off he goes in a race. He can have whoever he wants in the race or just him on his own what do you reckon he runs?

Adam: 11, 11.2 11. High, low 11's if he's getting close to 11 flat I’ll be very impressed. There's a hundred metres even though it does even though it's the shortest distance, you stand at the start 100 meters and you look it's a is a long way to go and a long way to sprint and people's mechanics will fade, people will get tired, they will get lactic. Running 100 metres like it's not easy um and especially if you're doing it inefficiently but yeah I reckon honestly probably close to 11 maybe, maybe he probably won't break 11. I doubt there's many footballers out there that they probably are but I doubt there's many especially like Ronaldo who is talented but yeah 11 seconds is probably my prediction see.

Radzi: I think you'll have two camps at this. You'll have the track and field aficionados who go yeah that's right and then you'll have Ronaldo fans football fans you go nah he go 10.6, 10.5 he'll and it's do you understand the levels and the thing is Ronaldo doesn't need to be that fast, that's the thing to try and change direction when you're running at the speed that you guys are running at, it's next to impossible we saw Dwayne Chambers try and do it in rugby. It's very very very and the mechanics you need to do that, you're going to have to have a low drive you're going to actually have to alter it, to make you more proficient in football so it actually makes it's.

Adam: No insult to the geezer but I can't run to be able to run 10.6.you have to accelerate you have to have an accelerate, you have to have a drive phase, you have to be able to start and accelerate and build up your build up your speed um efficiently. Someone like, someone like Ronaldo will give even though he's, he's a beast and he's so fast, he, he physically can't accelerate in that first 30 metres. He's giving away too much time and you can't make that time back up in 100 metres if I’m running for, if I’m running five seconds to 30 metres I’m not gonna then gain that extra second that I need down the track. Like if I’ve lost that time it's gone and that's where these footballers would struggle in that acceleration phase maybe upright they can force it and muscle it but once you give that time away you can't get that time back and that's the only reason why these footballers can't run these 10.5 10.6 10 point, because they can't accelerate as much as efficiently as they need to and as fast as they need to and that's the simple truth really.

Radzi: Talking about times, so seldom do you hear sprinters or any athletes ever say this what do you reckon the conditions are right, you have the perfect preparation, you have the perfect race, the perfect execution, you look over at the clock, what is plausible?

Adam: For me 100 metres, yeah, yeah, so if you look at this in the 200 right or the 100? Because I can tell you for I could I know what I can do for both I it's so hard to say because in training it's different. Yeah it's different in training even though you can get electric time and we've got free lap stuff it's not always accurate but I have number in my head that I know I can hit if conditions are right and I’m there's no issues and my body's flowing Well and in the hundred metres I don't want to give an exact number because it's not, it's not nice but I can definitely run sub 9.9, one hund, I’ve done that more. I believe I can do it I say I’ve done it in training it means nothing to say that and in the 200 and people are going to see this and think you are so deluded but if I, I’ve I believe it because I’ve done it in training and I know what I can do, I just have to do it in a race and the race conditions are so different I know in a 200 I can run.

Radzi: 19.7 high.

Adam: See I’ve run quicker than that in training.

Radzi: Wow.

Adam: Yeah I can run, I believe I can run 19 mid 19.6, 19,7. I believe, I believe I’m capable of doing that like I’ve raced people I’ve beaten every, I’ve been all of the best sprinters and I know these are the times that they've gone and run I just I haven't been in the race so I know what I can do and it's just about getting myself fit and healthy and and ready to do it and it's not going to be easy but I do truly believe that I can run.

Radzi: And for what it's worth I believe you can as well and the part the reason I believe you can is if we look at Doha 2019 and if we follow the race to the bend so you've just gone 90 metres at this stage. Yeah you are Andre De Grasse on your right Noah Lyles on your inside and with 70 metres to go and this is a 200 metre race, it's not a it's not a 130 metre race but you are leading at this point.

Adam: Yeah I I’ve seen this race up a few times and I know how I messed it up. I messed up so badly look how tight I get if I if I can learn to relax and just keep my form and just go back to basics but I was so charged before this race I was so ready to go and look now my fists are tight and I’m just forcing it and I’m, I’m, I just got nothing left and it it's only two me. That's a two metere gap from Noah Lyles and he's around 9.8 like and and I was ahead so I should be.

Radzi: yeah Kenone's snuck it at the end there but here's one question about that, so I yeah I wasn't going to tell you this but since you said that I will I had a bet with Toni Minichiello. I bet that you were going to get on the podium and turn him in, ah it cost me a dessert and a lot of banter. Right so at the start so it was off the back of so first of all I’d bet you're gonna get um on the podium in the one and for those that weren't watching Doha World Champs it was almost roll straight in from the final of the World's final of the hundred, I think the next day was actually am I right and saying that the start of the two, so and then when you didn't get it on the one I said to Toni I guarantee he gets it on the two and Toni went I’ll just honour it, I’ll honour it and so anyway I bet and then after your semi, he went he's gone mate and I said which means gone, wait he went 20 flat and he said you cannot put he said, he's put too much, he's taken too much out of the tank, he went if he does he's that all I can hope is he's got unbelievable conditioning and it's plausible, but I would say that he's gone so hard and that would be my concern without my athlete, that he hasn't taken his foot off the gas. He went and also he said it's very difficult to have the emotions that you had after the one being so close then and not any time to compose yourself and straight into the two he said if that were my athletes that he said there are too many uncontrollable factors and I went no Toni, it's gonna happen and then in the two, we saw what happened in the two like do you have any regrets from that from that period because it's easy from the outside to say?

Adam: No massive regrets, massive regrets. I ran the race completely I knew, he's right the semi-final I, I was I was, so charged and I had the hardest semi-final file but Noah wasn't in the race but I had Aaron Brown, I had Guliyev inside of me. I had like the race the race was traveling it was crazy and I my coach was like just qualifying and shut it down I felt I, I thought I was shutting it down. I watched the race back and I wasn't I was I was going I was going and I tightened up that last 30 metese of the semi-final I started panicking and I tightened up so I thought I could I couldn't really tell how how far ahead I was so I panicked and then after the race I was like stressed, why did I do that so in the final yeah I, I just ran out of run out of gas,.I ran out of gas and maybe if, maybe if I hadn't have done the one and I just focus on the two maybe I wouldn't have run out of gas but I think I was just so emotionally charged that, yeah massive regret of mine is the way I ran and just executing that race and that's, that's the love and the hate of sport as soon as I crossed that finish line I looked up and your name's not there. It's done, it's done.

Radzi: If the Olympics happens flipping fingers crossed it happens.

Adam: It will, it will happen it will happen, for sure I, I, I’ve never been so unless something crazy happens in the world with Covid or something else like a new crazy strain that just like, I, I think it's definitely gonna happen.

Radzi: Okay good you have to have that mentality. Yeah so you're there and you're on the the flight back to the UK and it says Adam won Olympic bronze medal in either the one or the two is that a success in your eyes?

Adam: Yeah an Olympic medal is definitely success, a success I’m training for the gold but any sort of individual medal at the Olympic games is, yeah no one can ever take that away from you. No one can ever take that away so for me yeah and I truly believe it I truly believe I should have done it in Rio. I messed up yeah, it was tough in Rio and I’m not making that mistake again at the next Olympics, I still haven't had a chance since Rio to make it right that's, that's how long ago Rio was um.

Radzi: But you were 20 years you know this is this is now heading towards your you are a complete athlete now and.

Adam: So I’m 27. I should if it's if it's going to happen it needs to happen now. I’m now getting towards my peak where now I’m, I’m at that age where there's no more excuses. I’m not a young athlete anymore, I’m not learning, I’m not developing like this is, this is it this is when I’m in my prime so yeah it's uh exciting, exciting times.

Radzi: Well here's a deal I’ll speak to you again when you get back off the plane and you've got an medal and there'll be a bit that big Adam Gemili smile on your face saying.

Ada: If I don't have that medal I’ll, I’ll but I’ll take you for dessert and it's that's not gonna happen it will happen I manifest it it will happen.

Radzi: Good it's been a real pleasure to talk to you thank you so much. It's early in the morning where you are right now Jimmy Vicaut is making noise in the background you can now tell him to do what he needs to do. All the best for Tokyo

Adam: Thank you bro, thank you really appreciate it

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Episode Seven: Adam Gemili video

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