Zharnel Hughes: British sprinters can 'take on the world'

By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Zharnel Hughes
Hughes was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 200m at last year's World Championships at London Stadium
Muller Anniversary Games
Venue: London Stadium Date: 21-22 July
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC One and BBC Two, with text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Full details

Zharnel Hughes believes the current generation of British sprinters can take on the world's best over 100m.

Hughes, 23, is the fastest Briton in the world this year with a run of 9.91 seconds in Jamaica in June.

However, he was beaten by Reece Prescod at the British Championships and also has last season's Diamond League winner CJ Ujah as a domestic rival.

"We have definitely evolved. I think over the years we can contend with the rest of the world," he told BBC Sport.

"You think about how Reece reached the final of the World Championships last year. It is going to be exciting to see what we Brits can do at this Muller Anniversary Games."

Fastest Britons of all time
1 Linford Christie9.87August 1993
2=James Dasaolu9.91July 2013
2= Zharnel Hughes9.91June 2018
4=CJ Ujah9.96June 2014
4=Joel Fearon9.96July 2016
6= Dwain Chambers9.97August 1999
6= Adam Gemili9.97June 2015
8 Jason Gardener9.98July 1999
9 Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake9.99May 2017
10 Richard Kilty10.01July 2016

Seven of the 10 fastest Britons of all time set their personal bests in the past five years, although Linford Christie's 1993 mark of 9.87 seconds remains the British record.

Hughes is joined by Ujah, Adam Gemili, Ojie Edoburun and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey in the 100m field at the London Stadium, but they face a formidable foreign challenge.

American world silver medallist Christian Coleman and compatriot Ronnie Baker, who is the joint fastest man in the world this year, will also compete.

Former world champion Yohan Blake and Commonwealth Games champion Akani Simbine are also on the startlist.

Hughes was briefly 2018's fastest man before his 9.91 mark was surpassed by Baker and American compatriots Noah Lyles and Michael Rodgers.

However, Hughes, who is focusing on 100m rather than 200m for the first time since 2014, believes he can improve further.

"Me and my coach are testing the waters to find out how much faster I can go in the 100m. It is working out nicely. I haven't left the 200m behind, but I am just getting my speed up," he added.


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