Zharnel Hughes predicted he would break British 200m record in London

By Sports Desk July 23, 2023

Zharnel Hughes had a premonition he would blitz the British 200m record in the specific time of 19.73 seconds ahead of doing so at Sunday’s sold-out London Diamond League meet.

The 28-year-old warmed up for next month’s World Championships in Budapest by impressively shaving 0.21 seconds off the previous national mark of 19.94, set by John Regis in 1993.

Hughes revealed post-race that he had earlier written his precise finishing time, which was only good enough for third place behind Noah Lyles and Letsile Tebogo, in a notebook.

His latest feat was witnessed by around 50,000 spectators at London Stadium and comes just a month after he broke Linford Christie’s 30-year-old 100m record when he ran 9.83 seconds in New York.

“It’s the exact time,” he said. “If you want to come around here, you can check it out.

“It depends how I am feeling and, if I know I am in good shape, I just write down a time and I use that time as a target.

“I don’t care about winning as long as I execute the plan that my coach wanted and we get the British record. I wanted to do it here on home soil and I did it.”

Hughes previously ran 19.77 with an illegal wind speed to claim the UK 200m title in Manchester earlier this month.

He burst out of the blocks on Sunday and pushed American world champion Lyles hard before his rival and Tebogo of Botswana moved clear on the home straight.

Hughes credited a “Kobe Bryant mentality” for his impressive recent results and warned he can become “much faster”.

“I’ve seen some little bits I can work on – and it’s exciting for me,” he said.

“I’m not pressured one bit. I am enjoying myself. I can get much faster.

“I spoke to you about that Kobe Bryant mentality. For me, I just wanted to go there and give it a great performance.”

Hughes broke away from his post-race interview to watch compatriot Dina Asher-Smith finish second in the women’s 100m, before Britain’s Jemma Reekie capped a stirring end to Sunday’s action by clinching 800m glory.

Former 200m world champion Asher-Smith crossed the line in 10.85 seconds, 0.10sec behind Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast, while compatriot Daryll Neita finished fourth.

“I am always disappointed not to win but this shows I am building,” said Asher-Smith.

“It is all about the end of August and Budapest, which isn’t a long way away, so I am excited.

“I managed to see the end of the men’s 200m and I am so pleased for Zharnel. British sprinting is doing so well.”

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