Zharnel Hughes qualified fastest for Saturday’s men’s 200 metres final at the British Championships.

The Anguilla-born sprinter posted a qualifying time of 20.55 seconds of Friday, even with shutting things down in the last 50 metres to paint himself as the strong favourite for the title on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old, who trains in Jamaica at the Racers Track Club with the likes of World record holder Usain Bolt and Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake, will be hoping to make the Great Britain team for this year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

“I’m just focusing on executing my race,” Hughes qualifies to represent Great Britain because his parent country, Anguilla, falls under British overseas territory told BBC WM.

“I know what I came out here to do, which is use my talent to the best of my ability. I want to stay focused and do the best I can.”

Booking places into Saturday’s final are James Ellington, who won his heat in 20.73, the second quickest of the rounds and Danny Talbot (20.74) who won the other semi-final heat.

Also breaking 21-seconds in the heats were Chris Clarke, who posted 20.80 and Antonio Infantino (20.96).

Several people have questioned Hughes’ sudden switch to represent team GB, including sprinter Richard Kilty, but Ellington doesn’t believe the teenager has done anything wrong.

“He’s got every right to run for Great Britain, so good luck to him,” Ellington said.

“I need to have a bit of pressure put on me to rise to the occasion. If he wasn’t here it would have been one of the easiest trials in the world, only probably two or three people contending, so it throws an oddball in the mix.”

In the women’s 200m heats, Bianca Williams went fastest, at 23.45 secs after winning heat 1 over Joey Duck (23.70).

Louise Bloor (23.65) and Margaret Adeoye (23.66) also booked places into the final.

In the men’s 100m, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey qualified fastest, at 10.29 secs, with Andrew Robertson running 10.37 for the second fastest.

Elsewhere on the day, American sprinter Cindy Ofili, who is also eligible to represent Great Britain, booked her place in the women’s 100m hurdles after clocking a heating winning time of 13.21.

IAAF World Championships bronze medal winner from 2013, Tiffany Porter qualified fastest with a time of 12.96 secs, while superstar multi-athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill ran 13.17 to take first place in her semi-final heat.


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