By Marios Papaloizou

Former Olympic champion Darren Campbell says Dartford’s Adam Gemili is at the forefront of a British sprinting revolution after watching the country’s new generation of stars rise to the fore in the last 12 months.

It was a stellar 2014 for Britain’s sprinters with Blackheath & Bromley Harrier Gemili no exception, the 21-year-old picking up European 200m and 4x100m gold as well as double silver in the 100m and 4x100m at the Commonwealth Games.

There were also major performances for James Dasaolu, CJ Ujah and Richard Kilty who all made giant strides in the international arena.

And Campbell believes the strength in depth of the current crop is akin the best the country has had for many years.

“The good thing with the current crop is that they are all shapes and sizes,” said Campbell, speaking at the SSE Arena at Wembley, where she is a mentor for SSE's Next Generation programme, which provides vital financial and development support to 100 young athletes from across the UK and Ireland.

“You have Adam, who is like a bullet and can do 100 or 200.

“If you look back at my era you have Kilty who is a bit like Jason Gardener whereas I'm a bit more like Adam and can do both.

“You have a similar kind of crop coming through which is really good because you need that kind of competition and ultimately it's not about being British champion.

“It's about going to the major championships and going to win a medal, that's how I viewed it.

“But the mindsets are right and there is good rivalry and they will continue to drive each other forward which is crucial.

“There is a great depth of talented and young athletes and this year is huge because it goes up a level from European to worlds.”

While European and Commonwealth medals were aplenty for the Brits in 2014 the next 18 months represent a whole new challenge.

With the world championships in Beijing on the horizon this summer and the Olympics next summer, Campbell wants the new breed to produce on the biggest stage.

“They showed the maturity that was beyond their years in Euros and that was really pleasing to see,” he added.

“There was a maturity beyond their years and the good thing is there's not just one or two, there is a healthy group and they should push each other on moving forward.

“It's great to see the guys and girls running so well. Zurich was amazing and it was a pleasure to be there and watch such positive performances.

“They need to step up to that next level and they need to be thinking I need to make the finals of the worlds as a bare minimum.

“Once you are in that final anything can happen so they have to be thinking finals and they all have to be in that mindset.”

SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future.

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