Adam Gemili determined to avoid ‘worst nightmare’ of self-isolation at Olympics

Nick Mashiter, PA
·3-min read

Adam Gemili has warned that the fallout from the European Indoor Championships must serve as a wake-up call to ensure any coronavirus heartbreak at the Olympics is avoided.

The Great Britain squad were forced to self-isolate following a Covid-19 outbreak in the team following the championships earlier this month.

At least nine athletes and members of staff tested positive and Gemili, who did not compete in Poland, was concerned to hear claims other countries did not adhere to the strict guidelines.

IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 – Day Four – Khalifa International Stadium
Great Britain’s Adam Gemili is on the UK Athletics Athletes’ Commission (Mike Egerton/PA)

Sprinter Gemili was elected to the UK Athletics Athletes’ Commission in October and they will speak about what happened in Torun during a meeting on Saturday.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s ridiculous the number of athletes who are having to isolate because of the way things were managed out there.

“What is a shame is apparently there were a lot of violations, not from the British team but from other countries.

“Leading into the summer it has to be understood by all nations who are competing – if we are going to be together we have to follow the rules otherwise it’s only going to be the athletes who suffer.

“It’ll be heartbreaking if you get to the Olympics and get a message saying you have to isolate and you were competing the next day.

Adam Gemili believes athletes need to take responsibility during the pandemic (Muller)
Adam Gemili believes athletes need to take responsibility during the pandemic (Muller)

“That is an athlete’s worst nightmare so we have to get this right so when you are at a championships you have to be extra careful.

“As a commission we are trying to talk to British Athletics about that and we have a call on Saturday about it to make sure British athletes get the best opportunity to compete and are as safe as possible.”

But Gemili, a 4x100m world and European champion, is sure the rearranged Olympics in Tokyo this summer will be managed properly.

“I am confident. They have to be on it, I know they will be. In and out of the village, compete, leave,” said the 27-year-old. “You’ll see me at the track and then I’ll be in my room under my covers.

“Hopefully by then a lot more people will be vaccinated and it’ll be safer.”

Gemili is now back at his Florida training base – after spending half of last year in the UK – as he aims to avoid the coronavirus in America.

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“I’m able to train and see my coach and training group every day, here they are getting on with it,” said Gemili, a Muller Rice ambassador.

“I know how hard it is in the UK, my family and girlfriend are stuck at home so I don’t want to put it in people’s faces on social media to say I’m out and about.

“You have to be respectful and the UK right now is still in lockdown. I feel quite responsible to show I’m not out and about every day.

“I’m trying to keep myself safe, I’m not silly, I know how important the summer is and I cannot afford to risk anything.”

:: Adam Gemili is a Muller Rice Ambassador. Muller Rice is low in fat, hunger filling goodness and a source of calcium which can be eaten hot and cold.