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Hughes sets British 100m record to win at New York Grand Prix

NEW YORK (AFP) – Zharnel Hughes broke Linford Christie’s 30-year-old British 100 metre (m) record yesterday, closing late from third to win in 9.83 seconds (s) at the New York Grand Prix athletics meet.

The 27-year-old Anguilla-born Briton sped past Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake and American Christian Coleman over the second half of the race to capture the title in a key warmup meet for qualifying for August’s World Championships at Budapest.

“Anything is possible,” Hughes said of the remainder of the season. “And the great thing is we haven’t started speed work yet. So this is just raw speed and endurance.”

Hughes, the 2018 European 100m champion, defeated runner-up Blake by 0.1 of a second with 2019 world champion Coleman third in 10.02s.

Hughes lowered the old British mark of 9.87s set by Christie in 1993 at Stuttgart.

It prompted Hughes to recall a prior New York meet where he raced sprint legend Usain Bolt, now among his training partners in Jamaica.

“In 2015 I came here and I ran against Usain Bolt and it was memorable,” Hughes said. “I wanted to come back here again and prove myself, and prove to the world, that I’m here.”

Zharnel Hughes. PHOTO: AFP

Hughes did that with a closing spurt that came from the discipline of following his race instructions.

“Patience. Patience. Patience. That’s what I’ve been told. Go through the phases. Don’t get carried away by anyone,” Hughes said. “Just relax and trust yourself. You will be good.”

American Noah Lyles, the two-time reigning 200 world champion, won the men’s 200 in 19.83 with Suriname’s Issam Asinga second by .42 of a second.

“It was not perfect but it was very fun,” Lyles said. “Coming off the turn was a little bit of a jerk. We’ll clean that up later.”

Reigning world and Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu made her 2023 season debut with a victory in 1:58.73, beating fellow American Sage Hurta-Klecker by 2.04 seconds with Ajee Wilson, the 2022 world indoor champion, 11th and last in 2:07.97.

“First meet, just coming out, trust the training,” Mu said. “This is just an opportunity to see where I’m at and make adjustments.”

American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the reigning world and Olympic 400 hurdles champion, captured the 400m in 49.51 with compatriot Gabby Thomas second in 50.29. “We wanted to take it out a little more conservative,” the winner said. “Work on the back end, see what the closing speed was like. Much better execution. Still things to work on. So happy overall.”

American Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 100 in 10.98 with Jamaican Briana Williams second in 11.04 and reigning US champion Melissa Jefferson third in 11.06.

“It just takes a lot of patience and executing in the race,” said Hobbs, who expects to need a faster effort to qualify for worlds.

“It’ll definitely take 10.8,” she said. “I’ve got it in me. It’s going to be a fast one. I’m ready for it.”

Jamaica’s Zandrion Barnes won the men’s 400m in 45.05.

American Maggie Ewen won the women’s shot put at 19.68 with US reigning world champion Chase Ealey third at 19.25.

Reigning US champion Kendra Harrison won the women’s 100 hurdles in 12.29, outleaning compatriot Alaysha Johnson at the line to win by .01.

American Abby Steiner won the women’s 200m in a season-best 22.19s. Daniel Roberts won the men’s 110 hurdles in 13.01s, edging Devon Allen by .03 to lead an all-USA podium.

American Eric Holt won the men’s 1,500 in 3:37.07 and American Bryce Hoppel won the men’s 800m in a season-best 1:44.55.

American Vashti Cunningham, a former world indoor champion, cleared 1.95m to win the women’s high jump while Donald Thomas of the Bahamas won the men’s high jump clearing a season-best 2.27m and American Payton Otterdahl took the men’s shot put with a heave of 21.50m.

Dominica’s Thea LaFond won the women’s triple jump with a leap of 14.47m while Cuban Yaime Perez won the women’s discus with an effort of 67.44m and Jamaican Traves Smikle won the men’s discus in 65.36.

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