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Backley: Semis a realistic goal for exciting Gemili

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Gemili celebrates winning the 100 meters final at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona (Reuters)

Young Adam Gemili has an outside chance of making the 100m final in London but he should probably set himself the more realistic goal of making the semi.

Let's be honest, he could run a PB and still not make the final. And that 10.05 he did came on a perfect evening in Barcelona. What a great opportunity to take a youngster on a crest of a wave, get him on that learning curve and prepare him for Rio.

He's raw, has come over from football and doesn't necessarily look like a natural sprinter, but he's become a world junior champion.

Let's not forget, we've had three world junior champions before — Harry Aikines-Ayreetey is the most recent and he's almost the opposite of Gemili in that he was a physical specimen aged 16. But to be brutally honest he was the same at 19 as 23.

We had Mark Lewis-Francis who was described by John Smith as the greatest sprinting talent of all time. Some might say that he squandered that talent, didn't have the right work ethic or lifestyle. And the other one was Christian Malcolm, who ran 10.15 at 19. Strangely he had the same problem as Harry — except with the opposite physique, he was a skinny kid then and he still is now!

The point I want to make is that Gemili looks like something we — and he — can nurture in terms of his physical and technical presence. He's clearly got the right attitude and if you put the three together, you have something really special.

Former javelin world record holder and twice Olympic silver medallist Steve Backley will be an expert consultant for Eurosport-Yahoo! during the London 2012 Games.

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