Gemili waiting on wild card
Gemili waiting on wild card

Kent’s Adam Gemili admits he is reduced to “praying for selection” for the world championships in London next month after struggling home in sixth place in the 200m at the UK trials.

Gemili, who missed out on an Olympic bronze medal by three thousandths of a second, was clearly uncomfortable from the start in Birmingham because of a leg injury and ended up limping home in 20.97sec – a second below his personal best.

Far ahead of him Britain’s latest sprint talent Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake was living up to his billing as he sped home in 20.18sec – a time that beat John Regis’s championship record – to win his first race in the UK since his family left Britain for Jamaica when he was 13.

Danny Talbot then grabbed the second automatic qualifying place in 20.20 – leaving selectors with a decision to go with either Zharnel Hughes, who finished fourth behind Leon Reed in 20.42, or Gemili, for the last wild-card place for the championships in London.

“I gave it my best shot and I’m not using it as an excuse but it can be quite hard to run carrying a niggle,” said Gemili, who appeared to be clutching his calf afterwards. “I’ve got to get a medical check-up, see where I’m at, make a decision after that and pray for selection.”

Unless Gemili can prove his fitness at the Anniversary Games next week, it appears likely that Hughes – who finished fifth over 200m at the world championships in 2015 – must be favourite.

“It will between us for sure,” Gemili said. “At the champs I always perform well so I’ve got that in my favour but at the moment I’ve got a lot of work to do. All of us can go there and be competitive – it’s just whether they have faith in me to go out and do a job against the best in the world. I’ve got to wait and see.”

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