COMPLETE Zharnel Hughes says he dreamed of becoming the fastest Brit in history – just hours before he officially clinched the title.
The 27-year-old sprinter stormed to victory at the USATF New York City Grand Prix in this year’s world best time of 9.83 seconds.
Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake was second in the nine-man race in 9.93 seconds, while American Christian Coleman, who became world champion in Doha four years ago, finished third in Manhattan’s Icahn Stadium with 10.02 seconds.
Hughes’ personal best beat Linford Christie’s British record of 9.87 seconds, set at the 1993 IAAF World Championships in Stuttgart.
Despite benefiting from a tailwind of +1.3 meters/second, this was considered a legal performance.
And the former European champion covered his mouth in disbelief when the time was announced in the stadium.
The initial reading was 9.84 seconds before it was quickly corrected to 9.83 as Hughes glanced at his watch in astonishment.
Hughes, who is coached by Usain Bolt’s ex-guru Glen Mills, previously ran 9.91 seconds but that put himself in the record books.
He said: “I woke up (on Saturday morning) with a dream. This morning I woke up with 9.83 in my head.
“When I looked at the clock and saw 9.83 – I don’t know if you saw my reaction – I was like, ‘What just happened?’ It actually came through. Manifestation is real.”
“I didn’t come here with the idea of breaking records – I just wanted to run fast.
“I wasn’t trying to do anything crazy. I wasn’t trying to say, ‘Got the perfect start!’ – I didn’t have the perfect start – but I relaxed and that’s what’s really important for me.”
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST NO DEPOSIT CASINO OFFERS
Hughes, a former European 100m and 200m champion, will arrive in great form and confidence at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.
It’s a far cry from his performance in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics final, when he was disqualified for a false start.
Away from the race track, Hughes is a qualified private pilot – and once told SunSport he has ambitions to one day run his own airline.