BIRMINGHAM – Zharnel Hughes ignored all detractors to qualify for the IAAF World Championships this summer after winning the men’s 200m at the British Championships on Saturday.

Hughes, who trains with world record holder Usain Bolt in Jamaica under the guidance of Glen Mills at Racers Track Club, clocked 20.42 seconds to outpace his rivals and sealed a place to Beijing in his first race as a British athlete.

The 19-year-old Anguilla-born sprinter, who got the green-light to represent Great Britain almost two weeks ago as his country falls under British overseas territory, got the better of Danny Talbot, who ran a season’s best 20.61 for second. Veteran James Ellington was a step behind in third, at 20.62.

“I’ve been longing to run in a uniform that says a country on it, so to represent GB, I’ll go out there and give it my best,” Hughes, who has held British nationality since birth, said after his win.

“The atmosphere today was great and it was good to get the support of the crowd. I’m very happy to get the win, right now I’m pretty tired after the excitement of it all.

“I’m very thankful – it was all about going out there and trying to qualify for the worlds and have fun. I’m feeling good at the moment and know I can run sub 20 this year.”

Tiffany Porter showed good form when winning the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.83 secs, getting the better of sister Cindy Ofili, who also qualified for the world championships when running 12.96 for second place.

“It was really special to race each other and it is the first time we have in a 100m hurdles race,” Porter, the world championships bronze medallist from Moscow said.

“She (Cindy) is a great competitor and I’m proud how she executed the race today. For me as a competitor, I think it is important to let your performances speak for themselves – I don’t do too much talking.

“I’m just focusing on going to Beijing and doing well. I tend to perform best under pressure so I’m looking to keep progressing.”

Jessica Ennis-Hill continued her comeback from birth with a third place finish in race – running a season’s best of 13.10.

“I’ve been able to do some good training and I’ve got a bit more speed now,” the Olympic Games Heptathlon champion said.

“I was getting stronger towards the end of the race and I think the training has really made a difference – the cadence is there and I’m much better between the hurdles.”

Despite feeling much better about her progress, Ennis-Hill says she will delay making a decision over whether she will compete at the world championships until the last minute.

“I think it’s going to be quite last minute, probably after the Anniversary Games, as I want to see what my 100m hurdles are,” Ennis-Hill said.


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