Gemili and Johnson-Thompson lead charge in Bedford

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Adam Gemili and Katarina Johnson-Thompson are amongst a host of athletes heading to Bedford with the aim of securing a time good enough to earn a European team spot at the England Athletics Under-23 and Under-20 Championships.

Qualification for next month's three international age-group championships can be secured by reaching the selection standard - something both Gemili and Johnson-Thompson will aim to do.

Gemili is down to race in both the 100m and 200m, while Johnson-Thompson will participate in the 100m hurdles, 200m and the long jump.

Other headliners on the list of those taking part in the two-day event from which UK Athletics will select the first eligible winner include Jack Green, Emelia Gorecka, Jessica Judd and Jodie Williams.

Gemili in particular will look to lay down a marker as he gets his season underway this weekend in Bedford - and the young sprinter says his ultimate aim this season is to break the 10-second barrier in the 100m.

“Going into the race season I think I’ll be better than I was last year,” he said. 

“For every sprinter the main aim is to run sub-10. That’s the checkmark for all the guys and I’d love to run it this year and join that elite group of people.

Gemili impressed by making the semi-finals at the Olympics in London last summer, and the 19-year-old says he is enjoying his progression from former footballer to sprint ace.

"People have said to me now that there’s a lot of pressure for me to  perform but I don’t see it like that," he continued.

"If I go into a race that I’m expected to win and I don’t, then it’s not the end of the world. I’ll go into training and try to work on what went wrong.

“It’s a learning thing, I’m still quite young and I’ve got a lot to learn. I don’t see it as too much pressure, I’m just here to enjoy it and have fun.”

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Katarina Johnson-Thompson

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