Zharnel Hughes: “I will use this to get faster and become a global champion. It has been a long journey to get the title back I last won in 2015. I thank my team, my coach and everyone who came to support me. I shall come back for the 200m on Sunday and hope the conditions are better”
Last Updated: 08/07/23 9:11pm
Zharnel Hughes eyed the world title after becoming British 100m champion for the first time in eight years.
The new national 100m record holder, who broke Linford Christie’s 30-year time last month, won in 10.03 seconds in torrential rain ahead of Reece Prescod on Saturday.
The heavens opened in Manchester just before the race and knocked out some electrics at the Regional Arena, with the BBC’s feed also going down.
But Hughes impressively powered through to target next month’s World Championships in Budapest.
“I will use this to get faster and become a global champion,” he said. “It has been a long journey to get the title back I last won in 2015. I thank my team, my coach and everyone who came to support me.
“I shall come back for the 200m on Sunday and hope the conditions are better. I really must thank each and every one of the crowd for watching in these terrible conditions.
“Come rain, sun or shine you perform regardless is the slogan in Anguilla. I train in these conditions sometimes in Jamaica but I am soaked, these conditions are the worst ever.”
Eugene Amo-Dadzie, an accountant who competes part-time and ran 9.93 seconds last month, came third and is likely to get the final 100m spot for Hungary.
CJ Ujah, back from a drugs ban following a positive test at the Olympics two years ago – which cost Team GB their 4x100m silver – was fifth.
Dina Asher-Smith clocked 11.06 seconds to win the 100m women’s race. The final was delayed after the torrential rain which forced the athletes back inside.
Asher-Smith is gearing up for next month’s World Championships, with the weekend doubling up as the British trials.
She remains well behind Jamacia’s Shericka Jackson’s world-leading time of 10.65 seconds, while Sha’Carri Richardson ran 10.71 seconds en route to winning the US Championships this weekend.
Asher-Smith’s personal best, and national record she set in 2019, remains 10.83 seconds – which she equalled when finishing fourth in Eugene last year.
She said: “It was probably colder at Gateshead Diamond League but today we had the not knowing if the race would got ahead, the waiting, going out, coming in, lightning, wind.
“This is the first time I had to really make sure I stay focused which is good practice and lessons to be taken about how you deal with it.”
Asher-Smith was never challenged, with rival and last year’s champion Daryll Neita focusing on Sunday’s 200m, as Imani Lansiquot and Bianca Williams finished second and third.
Earlier, Keely Hodgkinson reached Sunday’s 800m final by winning her heat in two minutes 01.16 seconds.
The 21-year-old came second at last year’s World Championships to the USA’s Athing Mu having also won silver – behind Mu – at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.
She said: “Every person has said, when I’ve said I’m doing the British Championships, ‘why?’
“Last year I missed doing it, even though I was doing the 400m it didn’t get my adrenaline up because it’s not my event. Everyone was taking it so seriously and I was like ‘I don’t belong here.’
“I like doing the British Champs, another title under my belt – hopefully – and I live here, it’s my training track as well.”
Laura Muir, who split with long-term coach Andy Young earlier this year, won her 1500m heat as she looks to move on from a tough period.
“I think I just can go back to enjoying it. Which is the most important thing,” she said.
“It’s been very difficult. I’ve been injured before, physically, and it’s been a lot harder this year. ‘ll take a physical thing over this any day.”
Matthew Hudson-Smith, who won 400m bronze in Eugene last year, reached Sunday’s final in 46.31 seconds, while Holly Bradshaw missed out on her 11th British outdoor title in the pole vault to Molly Caudery.