Jamaica joy and Gemili takes silver

Adam Gemili, middle, took silver in the 100m final

Adam Gemili, middle, took silver in the 100m final

First published in National Sport News © by

Kemar Bailey-Cole took advantage of the absence of his training partner Usain Bolt to blaze to the Commonwealth 100 metres title in Glasgow as England's Adam Gemili took silver.

The 22-year-old Jamaican recovered from a poor start to power through and finish as a clear winner in 10.00 seconds, with Gemili just edging out Nickel Ashmeade to take second in 10.10secs.

It was the first major senior medal of the Londoner's career.

Gemili dropped to his knees on the track as the big screen confirmed he had dipped to cross the line 0.02 seconds ahead of Ashmeade.

Bolt's absence - he is only running the relay in Glasgow - may have hurt the event, but it also blew it wide open.

This was not a test of how quick one man could go - it was a proper race.

Bailey-Cole and Gemili, the two fastest qualifiers from the semi-finals in 10.00 and 10.07 respectively, were drawn alongside each other, the latter in lane four and the former in five.

Other threats were there, notably from a second Jamaican in Ashmeade who has a best of 9.90m, but this always looked like coming down to a head-to-head between Bailey-Cole and Gemili.

In the end it was a disappointment neither man was able to dip under 10 seconds, the cool conditions not helping, but the pair had been the class acts throughout the competition.

"The times will come, the medals are what counts," a delighted Gemili told BBC Sport.

Gemili, who was greeted by a huge roar from the bumper Hampden Park crowd, was on the books at Chelsea as a teenager and only committed full-time to athletics three years ago.

He has since won the world junior 100m title, reached the 100m semi-finals at London 2012 and made it to the 200m final at last year's World Championships in Moscow.

Out in Russia he became only the second Briton to go under 20 seconds for the 200m, running 19.98.

He switched coaches last autumn to train under Steve Fudge in Loughborough, alongside the likes of James Dasaolu, and his progression has continued apace, running a 100m best of 10.04 this season.

Mark Lewis-Francis, the great unfulfilled talent of British sprinting, won silver in Delhi four years ago, but Gemili's run here has far more significance.

Lewis-Francis' time out in India would not even have got him in the final in Glasgow. His compatriot's display, and especially his ability to pull out his best on the big stage, will be noted by the big guns.

Michael Johnson was impressed, telling BBC Sport: "To get himself on the podium is a big thing for Adam Gemili. That gives him something to build on for the future. He can now go on and win the European Championships and then he has medals in his back pocket heading into next year which is a huge confidence booster."

Gemili's moment to top a podium is getting closer, but the honour this time went to Bailey-Cole.

He trains alongside Bolt at The Racers Track Club and, at 6ft 4in, is a similar build to the world record holder.

A member of Jamaica's gold-medal winning relay team at last year's World Championships and the London Olympics, he finished fourth in the individual event at the World Championships in Moscow last summer, setting his best of 9.93 in the semi-final in Russia.

He came into the Games as only the fifth-ranked Jamaican in the world this year, but in the absence too of Yohan Blake, another Racers member, seized his moment to shine.

Gemili was certain all the effort to reach such a big stage was worth the reward as he assessed his night's work.

"This is my first senior medal. I'm speechless. There's so much preparation that goes into running 10 seconds - my team put a lot of work in behind the scenes," he said.

"I can't believe it, this is my first time representing England. I'm so happy.

"This is something I'm never going to forget. It's not about times today, it's positions because the times will come. Medals are what count and this is a stepping stone now for the Europeans, Worlds and then Rio in 2016."

In the women's 100m, England's Asha Philip, the 23-year-old former world junior champion on the double-mini trampoline who has battled back from a serious knee injury to help lead the rejuvenation of British women's sprinting, ran a personal best 11.18, but was just edged out of the medals in fourth.

Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare claimed the gold in a Games record of 10.85, while another English athlete in Bianca Williams was sixth.

Elsewhere, England's Kelly Massey ran a PB of 52.19 to reach the 400m final, and at the end of day one of the decathlon her team-mate John Lane lay in second place.

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