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Dartford's Adam Gemili takes place at world 200m top table in Moscow
IT IS a long way from Dartford to the top of the sprinting world but Adam Gemili took a giant step closer on Saturday.
The former Dartford Grammar School pupil may have only finished fifth in the final of the men’s 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, but the 19-year-old proved he belonged at the very top level.
His time of 20.08s was his second fastest ever behind the 19.98s he notched in his semi-final on Friday to become only the second Briton ever to break the 20 second barrier.
John Regis’s 1994 mark of 19.87s is next in Gemili’s sights but for now the young dynamo is basking in the praise of the likes of world record holder Usain Bolt who took gold in 19.66s from the lane next to Gemili’s.
The first British man in a world 200m final for 10 years, said afterwards: "It's an unbelievable experience to be in that final on the outside of Usain Bolt and just being in the top eight and finishing fifth.
“I'm just very proud, very happy and very grateful to be in this position."
The Blackheath and Bromley Harrier added: "I was very close to a medal - just four hundredths (of a second) - and I missed out on the Olympic final (in the 100m) by four hundredths as well, so it's always those fours.
Adam in action during last summer's Olympics in London.
"But as I get older and stronger that will hopefully come down and down and down. Hopefully I'll be up there getting a medal in future years."
Unfortunately the former Dagenham and Redbridge right-back, who could have been turning out at Scunthorpe in League Two on Saturday, was denied a bronze in the men’s 4x100m relay on Sunday (Aug 18).
That man Bolt won a record-equalling eighth World Championship gold by anchoring Jamaica home in 37.36s, but the Great Britain team were disqualified after finishing third.
The team of Gemili, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Ellington and Dwain Chambers clocked a season's best 37.80s in the Luzhniki Stadium but were stopped in their tracks on their way to collect a medal.
Judges ruled the second changeover from Aikines-Aryeetey to Ellington took place out of the designated box and the result was reversed.
It is the latest in a long line of relay failures for Britain's sprinters, having been unable to get the baton round properly in six of the last seven major championships.
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