British Athletics Championships: Zharnel Hughes sets sights on Christie's 26-year-old 100m record

Zharnel Hughes (right)
Zharnel Hughes (right) became the second fastest British sprinter when he ran 9.91 seconds in June 2018
British Athletics Championships, Alexander Stadium, Birmingham
Coverage: Saturday, 24 August, BBC Red Button, 15:00-17:00 BST; Sunday, 25 August, BBC Two, 14:00-17:00; 17:00-17:20, Athletics Forum debate, BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and BBC Sport website

Zharnel Hughes said he is targeting Linford Christie's 26-year-old 100m national record as he prepares for this weekend's British Championships.

The European champion, 24, has a personal best of 9.91 seconds and believes not only can he break Christie's 9.87, but go much faster.

"I think I can run 9.8, possibly a 9.7, but we'll see," he said.

"I ran 9.96 at the Anniversary Games in the heats which was quite easy and I shut down from far out."

This weekend's championships at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium double as trials for the World Athletics Championships, which begin on Friday, 27 September.

Hughes' main contenders for national title are expected to be Adam Gemili and CJ Ujah.

He added: "I'm not predicting for it to be this weekend, because I don't know what the weather looks like and you have to take into consideration the way you execute."

The Anguilla-born sprinter also plans to compete in the 200m, with Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Gemili - the 2014 European champion - and Miguel Francis all expected to challenge strongly for the crown.

Double European champion Dina-Asher Smith will only run in the women's 100m, although she intends to compete in both Doha sprint events.

For many of the events, athletes who finish in the top two will qualify for the World Championships, provided they have met the qualifying standards. Team selectors can also make use of a discretionary third spot.

The middle-distance events promise to be as difficult to predict.

Lynsey Sharp
Scot Lynsey Sharp (right) triumphed in the 800m at the Anniversary Games last month

In the women's 800m, Scot Lynsey Sharp heads a field that includes Alex Bell and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, who have all achieved the qualifying standard.

Sharp, 29, told BBC Sport: "Everybody wants to be British champion - it can be a nervous time for those who want to make the team. The 800m is a really competitive event. I've got so much respect for the my rivals - they're all running fast times."

The men's 1500m could produce a home-straight duel between Charlie Grice, who produced the fourth fastest time by a Briton last month, against Commonwealth and European bronze medallist Jake Wightman.

They have both achieved the qualifying standard of three minutes and 36 seconds, as has Scot Josh Kerr, 21, who has impressed on the American college circuit and broke 1983 world champion Steve Cram's British under-23 best of 3:33.66 in June.

Both Scottish European 1500m champion Laura Muir and men's 100m sprinter Reece Prescod will not be competing at the trials because of injuries. Muir, 26, suffered a calf injury at the Anniversary Games last month and Prescod, 23, has a hamstring problem.

The World Athletics Championships begin on Friday, 27 September and will be live across the BBC.

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