Zharnel Hughes produced the performance of his dreams to break Linford Christie’s 30-year-old British record in the 100 metres on Saturday, winning at the NYC Grand Prix in 9.83 seconds.
The 27-year-old exploded off the blocks and held off Jamaican Ackeem Blake by a tenth of a second to break former Olympic champion Christie’s national record, set in August of 1993, by four hundredths of a second.
American Christian Coleman, the world champion in Doha four years ago, settled for third place in 10.02.
“I woke up with a dream this morning… this morning I woke up with 9.83 on my mind,” said Hughes, who helped Britain to win bronze in the 4×100 metres relay at the world championships in Eugene last year.
“When I looked at the clock and saw 9.83 — I don’t know if you saw my reaction — but I was like ‘What just happened there!’ It actually came through. Manifestation is real.”
It was an auspicious performance for Hughes, who trains with retired great Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills, with the World Championships set for August in Budapest.
Hughes, who took silver in the 100 metres and gold in the 200 metres at the European Championships last year, told reporters he has “no expectations” for the worlds, with more work left to be done.
“I wasn’t coming up here thinking about breaking records — I just wanted to run fast,” said Hughes, who planned to reward himself with a classic slice of New York pizza after the Continental Tour Gold event.
“I didn’t try to do anything crazy. I didn’t try to say, ‘Get the perfect start’ — I didn’t get the perfect start — but I relaxed and that’s what’s really important for me.”