By Jonathan Green
DARTFORD’S Adam Gemili admits he is counting down the days to the BUCS Gatorade Nationals as he looks to repay the University of East London for the support they have given him.
The 20-year-old sprinter, who became only the second Brit to break the 20 second barrier in the 200m at the 2013 world championships, missed last year’s BUCS season through injury.
Gemili will compete in the 60 metres and the 4x200m relay as he prepares for another busy season which will include the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and European championships in Zurich.
And Gemili, a member of Blackheath & Bromley Harriers, has thrown down the gauntlet to his team-mates, challenging them all to medal in their event.
“I can’t wait for the BUCS Championships to begin,” Gemili said.
“This will be my first BUCS event and all my friends have said how fun it is so I can wait to go out and race.
“It will be my first race of the season so I’m not looking to go there and run a British record. I’m going to hopefully get some points for the uni, get a medal and do well. I want to see what shape I’m in for the outdoor season.
“The uni is great to me as they provide everything for me and they give me time off if I need it. So for me to go and compete for them will be an honour and hopefully I can do well and get as many BUCS points as I can for them.
“I think UEL can do well in the athletics. We haven’t got the biggest team like other universities do but we have a small solid team.
“No pressure but I’m expecting a medal from all our athletes. If you’re going to aim big I think you should aim for the biggest and I think we’ve all got medal potential we just need to execute it on the day.”
The BUCS Gatorade Nationals take place the weekend of February 22-24 at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, and Gemili admits they will set him up perfectly for the new season.
“The BUCS Championships are awesome for young athletes,” Gemili added. “It’s the Olympics for students.
“BUCS as a whole is awesome because it gives students the chance to get into some serious competition.
“It’s taken so seriously and it’s a good opportunity for young guys who might not make it to the top elite level to still experience an elite environment and that good level of competition. It may also give them the chance to go to a professional level if they do well enough.
“And it gives students the chance to socialise and meet the other competitors in their sport from around the country. You get to see where they’re at and what level they’re at and make new friends.”
Gatorade is the exclusive nutrition and hydration partner to British Universities & Colleges Sports and headline sponsor of the BUCS Gatorade Nationals.
BUCS and Gatorade work together to educate student athletes on the importance of sports nutrition and hydration - visit bucs.org.uk/gatorade
Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt