2022 – A successful year for Hughes
British sprinters with ties to Jamaica went one-two in the 200 metres at the European Championships in Munich, Germany, yesterday. For the winner, Zharnel Hughes, the victory probably made 2022 a successful season. Hughes, who trains in Jamaica as...
British sprinters with ties to Jamaica went one-two in the 200 metres at the European Championships in Munich, Germany, yesterday.
For the winner, Zharnel Hughes, the victory probably made 2022 a successful season. Hughes, who trains in Jamaica as a member of the Racers Track Club, produced a season’s best 20.07 seconds to take the gold medal.
Last year at the Tokyo Olympics, Hughes became the first man in a British vest to reach the Olympic 100 metres final since 2000, but a false start dashed his hopes. He has used that disappointment as fuel for his 2022 campaign. After his win in Munich ahead of Great Britain teammate Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, he was jubilant.
“I knew that I am faster than the other guys on the track because of my fast 100m. I really did the damage on the bend,” he reviewed. “As soon as I crossed the finish line I knew that I had won because I didn’t see anyone else there. I am really happy with the European champion title, as well as with the silver of Nethaneel. It’s one-two for team GB!”
Mitchell-Blake, 20.17, was second four years ago to Ramil Guliyev of Turkey but this time the 2017 World Champion stopped on the curve with an injury.
The repeat silver medallist, who once attended and competed for Jamaica College, was delighted to be back on the podium. “I gave my best on the day, and was enough to get a medal. I got beaten by my teammate, which is not a bad feeling. You always want more, but in this moment, I’m just appreciative of what I’ve got”, Mitchell-Blake said gratefully.
Hughes lost his 100 metres title earlier in the meet to Olympic 100m and World Indoor champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy, 9.99 to 9.95 seconds. That left him one place short of a stated goal. “I’ve written it down as a goal I’d like to achieve, and, obviously, trying to get a medal at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, and also defending my title at the European Champs. All of that is on the table and I definitely think it’s reachable,” he pledged.
Born in Anguilla to a Jamaican mother, Hughes collected a 4x100m bronze at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July and silver and gold, for the 200m and 4x100m, respectively, at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month.
Acclaimed as a ‘cousin’ by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Eugene, Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith placed second to World Indoor 60 metres champion Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland in the women’s 200m.
The packed Munich Olympic Stadium also saw special performances in the 400-metre hurdles. Dutch star Femke Bol sped home in 52.67 seconds to complete a 400m/400m hurdles double and Norway’s world record holder Karsten Warholm salvaged some pride from an injury ravaged season with a 47.12 seconds victory in the men’s race.