Edwards dismisses Gemili concern
Competing at London 2012 will be good experience for British sprinter Adam Gemili according to Jonathan Edwards .
Last Updated: 26/06/12 9:26am
British sprint prospect Adam Gemili can only benefit from the experience of competing at London 2012 according to Jonathan Edwards.
Gemili secured his spot in the 100m after finishing second in the Olympic trials on Saturday, having previously achieved the 'A' qualifying time of 10.08 seconds earlier this month.
But the 18-year-old's participation at the Games is threatened by his coach Michael Afilaka, who is concerned by the psychological impact on the sprinter.
"If you throw him into the cauldron of the Olympics and he gets burned, then he might never recover," said Afilaka.
"If you'd seen him in the evening after the trial race, he was an emotional wreck."
But Edwards dismissed Afilaka's concerns, insisting that involvement in the games with give the former Chelsea youth player an invaluable insight into racing at the highest level.
"I'd go for the experience because there's no substitute for being in an Olympic village and competing in the Games," said the triple jump world record holder.
"Adam will get through the first round and maybe into the second, running against the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin. He can only gain from that.
"He can relax and enjoy the Games, without there being any pressure on his shoulders. He's not stupid, he knows he won't win.
"It's what I did in Seoul 1988 as a 22-year-old. That made a difference for me in terms of inspiration and feeling comfortable in that environment.
"It takes a while at world level to feel like you belong. If he gets a chance to compete in London that will help him for the future.
"The fact it's a home Games is important and if you've qualified you should go because it's a massive achievement to be an Olympian."
However Edwards, who won Olympic gold in 2000, five years after setting his world record of 18.29m, was cautious about over-tipping Gemili for greatness.
"Adam's an exciting prospect," he said Edwards. "He's raw and you can see that in the way he runs, but he's quick and has talent.
"We've been here before with the likes of Mark Lewis-Francis, talking up juniors who haven't quite come through.
"To put it in a global perspective, the likes of Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell were running quicker at the same age.
"He's burst on to the scene and is a great story, so let's see how he develops."
Edwards is concerned by the preparations of his successor in the triple jump and one of Britain's stronger medal hopes at London 2012, Phillips Idowu.
Idowu withdrew from the trials with an unspecified injury and has competed only three times this year.
"Ideally Phillips wouldn't be injured. I understand it's not particularly serious and he should be fine for the Games," he said.