23rd February 2018
WORLD CHAMPIONS LINE-UP AHEAD OF MULLER INDOOR GRAND PRIX GLASGOW
A star-studded line-up of athletes, including 4x100m relay world champion Adam Gemili, spoke to the assembled media ahead of the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Glasgow taking place on Sunday 25 February.
Joining Gemili were London 2017 women’s 400m gold medallist Phyllis Francis (USA) and defending women’s 200m outdoor world champion Dafne Schippers (NED).
The Glasgow meeting is the penultimate event in the indoor calendar before next weekend’s IAAF World Indoor Championships, which will be held in the Arena Birmingham.
Glasgow will be one of Gemili’s first runs of the year after opening the year with a 6.62 clocking in Dusseldorf, and he is excited to get back out on the track in a city that holds a lot of fond memories for him.
Gemili commented: “I really can’t wait, I’m excited to get out there. It’s a world class field and competing in Glasgow is really special for me.
“The Commonwealth Games was my first time competing in Glasgow and it’s where I won two silver medals, I know it’ll be even better this time around.
“The main aim for me is to be competitive, a lot of them are going for the World Indoors but I’m using it as preparation for the Commonwealth Games. I need to improve on my race in the first 60m so it’s very personal for me.”
The atmosphere is something that the 24-year-old is looking to thrive in as the support from the Scottish fans for all the British athletes is second to none.
In such a strong field however, he knows he will need to be performing at the top of his game.
“I’m very lucky, the crowd always treat the British athletes better than everyone else, and Glasgow always have shown me a lot of love and I’m thankful for that, hopefully I can put on a good show for them.
“I don’t feel this as pressure but I like the expectation and I like that feeling to chase and never get complacent. There’s so many male sprinters competing for those places so it’s about being on you’re A game all the time,” he added.
“I want to get more consistent, run faster and make the European Championships and win some medals for the team. A lot of athletes like Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Greg Rutherford were guaranteeing us medals but now us young athletes can step up and replace those guys but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Olympic silver medallist Schippers will be looking to replicate her 60m victory in Glasgow back in 2016 but admits the strong line-up makes it a tricky prospect.
“I’m feeling good, I ran 7.09s last week and I hope to run faster, this is a perfect race before the World Championships because we can make a plan for next week based on this race.
“I’m excited for the challenge, it’s nice to compete at such a high level. The 60m is short, you start and you’re already at the finish but I love to do it, I can have a lot of fun with that. We work a lot on the start, 60m is a good start for the outdoor season and I can build up to the outdoor based on this.”
Francis will be looking to build upon her World Championship outdoor gold last summer as she warms up for the 4x400m relay at the World Indoors next weekend; but says the finale to the World Indoor Tour is the perfect set-up for those championships.
She added: “I’m really excited to run but I’m trying not to focus on the field, I just have to go out there and execute my race plan and just enjoy myself.
“The race is very important, I’ve been improving on my times so now I’m looking forward to improving from last weekend.”
The Championships have also brought Francis to Scotland for the first time and she has taken to the weather and the culture.
“This is my first time here and I love it! I had a waiter come to me in the hotel and tell me to try the haggis and I haven’t had the courage to try it yet but tonight, I’m just going to go for it.”