ZHARNEL HUGHES set himself up for European 100 metres gold by finishing just behind the fastest man in the world this year.
The British sprinter, 23, clocked 9.93 seconds to come second at the Anniversary Games in London as American Ronnie Baker won in 9.90sec.
And Hughes, coached by Usain Bolt’s former mentor Glenn Mills in Jamaica, will now travel to the European Championships in Berlin in two weeks’ time as favourite for gold.
He said: “I’m really happy, especially going into the European Championships in the next two weeks.
“This is a great performance, a confidence-booster for me.
“I can cope with the tag of favourite, definitely.
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“It’s just going out there and holding my own and trying not to get ahead of myself.
“I still prefer the 200m but coach Mills wanted me to see how much faster I can become in the 100m. I haven’t run it since 2014 so what I’ve been doing so far has been tremendous.”
Hughes believes he can go even faster than Linford Christie’s 1993 mark of 9.87sec, which remains the British record.
He said: “It all depends on the conditions, the way I execute and holding my own.”
Hughes announced himself on the world stage in 2015 when, at the age of 19, he finished fifth behind Bolt in the 200m final at the Beijing World Championships.
Earlier this year he won 200m gold at the Commonwealth Games only to be disqualified for catching Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards in the face.
He added: “What happened at the Commonwealths definitely toughened me up.
“I applied myself and worked even harder. It’s nice to see that’s paying off.”
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the women’s 100m in 10.98sec the first time she has run under 11sec since becoming a mum last year.
Britain’s Shara Proctor won the long jump with a leap of 6.91m.
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Zharnel Hughes clocks 9.91sec to set fastest 100m time in the world this year