DARTFORD sprinter Adam Gemili will receive top-tier funding to back his “genuine potential” to win a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The 19-year-old has been named as an athlete capable of a podium finish by UK Athletics (UKA) and he will now receive funding as part of the UKA World Class Performance Programme.

Adam missed out on a place in the Olympic 100m final by just 0.4 seconds in August having lined up in the semi-finals alongside the likes of Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay.

In July he won gold at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona having previously become an overnight sensation after running within the Olympic standard qualified time at an unheard of race in Germany.

Following Team GBs athletics medal success at London 2012, UKA has tightened the criteria for funding ahead of the Rio Olympics.

In the four years leading up to this year’s Olympics, athletes received funding if they were deemed capable of a top eight finish.

UKA performance director Neil Black said: “Being part of the World Class Performance Plan is a privilege and not a right and athletes selected will be expected to fulfill tough performance criteria.

“We have identified a very talented group of athletes for support over the coming year and I am confident we can build on the success of the last Olympic and Paralympic cycle.”

Longfield’s 49-year-old Paralympic wheelchair competitor Stephen Osborne will also receive funding from UKA.

Stephen, who came fifth in his 100m wheelchair race this summer, will receive the second tier of funding.

Known as podium potential, UKA says athletes in this category may be more likely to achieve medal success at the 2020 games.