WATCH: British sprinter wins national title in monsoon

Zharnel Hughes

In the middle of a torrential downpour at the 2023 UK Athletics Championships in Manchester on Saturday, British sprinter Zharnel Hughes ran a remarkable 10.03 seconds to win the 100m national title and secure a spot on the British 2023 World Championship team. The current British 100m record holder defied challenging conditions and a water-filled track, soaring to victory.

Hughes got out fast, but it wasn’t until 50 meters into the race that his stride began to open up, surging to a decisive victory over Reece Prescod and the world’s fastest accountant, Eugene Amo-Dadzie, who finished second and third in 10.14 and 10.18.

The spectators on hand for the men’s 100m final were astounded by Hughes’ outstanding performance despite the unfavourable conditions. On Twitter, fans went as far as speculating about the potential record time Hughes could have achieved if it hadn’t been pouring. One user commented, β€œThis has to be equivalent to running 9.7.” Fans also raised questions about the race’s decision to proceed amid the harsh weather.

Hughes’ triumph in the 100m in such unfavorable circumstances wasn’t his only win of the weekend. In the men’s 200m on Sunday, he cruised to a staggering 19.77 seconds to take another national title. Although his time was under the British 200m record of 19.87, his time of 19.77 yielded a wind reading of (+2.3 m/s), just over the legal limit of +2.0.

Hughes currently holds the fastest 100m time in the world this season, clocking an impressive 9.83 at the NYC Grand Prix in June. In that race, he triumphed over notable competitors such as Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake and the 2019 world championChristian Coleman. These wins have established Hughes as a formidable contender for the podium at the upcoming World Athletics Championships scheduled to take place in Budapest this August.

This has been a bounce-back year for the 28-year-old, who was disqualified from the men’s 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics for a false start. He also had his Olympic silver 4x100m relay medal taken away after his teammate CJ Ujah had a positive doping test after the race. Hughes will next compete at the London Diamond League on July 23 against reigning world champion Fred Kerley and Noah Lyles.

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