April 20, 2024

London Diamond League: Zharnel Hughes can ‘definitely’ break Britain’s 200m record, says Noah Lyles

Zharnel Hughes completed the 100m and 200m double at the British Championships in July
Centre: London situation Date: Sunday, July 23
Cover: BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website & app 13:15-16:35 BST

Noah Lyles insists Zharnel Hughes can break the British 200m record in front of a sell-out crowd of 50,000 at the London Diamond League on Sunday.

Hughes, who broke his nation’s 30-year-old 100m record in June, said he was not targeting the 200m mark of 19.94 seconds set by John Regis in 1993.

But reigning world 200m champion Lyles claimed it was “definitely” within reach for the 28-year-old.

Learning the time Hughes would need, Lyles said: “Oh, we can get that.”

“Why are you so modest, man?” the American joked during Saturday’s press conference at the London Stadium.

Referring to Britain’s Hughes’ 100m victory in terrible conditions earlier this month, Lyles added: “You just ran in a hurricane. We can get that [time] that’s for sure.”

Hughes, though predicted to run 9.83-second who broke Linford Christie’s 100m record in New York, previously told BBC Sport he has another goal written on his vision board at home – one he hopes to achieve at the World Championships in Budapest next month.

Sunday’s competition at the London Stadium, the first major athletics meeting held at the 2012 Olympic venue since 2019, represents one of the last opportunities for some of the sport’s biggest names to fine-tune their preparations for Budapest.

“Tomorrow is about executing my race, not breaking the British record. If it comes, it comes,” said Hughes, who set his 200m personal best of 20.02 seconds at the 2015 World Championships.

“It is something that is on the table and if it comes tomorrow I will be happy.”

Lyles, who is aiming for a trio of world golds in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, believes Hughes’ 100m time – the fastest in the world this year – makes him a serious medal contender.

“He’s a different person [I need] to beat,” said the Olympic bronze medalist.

Asher-Smith & Hodgkinson among British stars aiming to impress

Shericka Jackson won the 200m in Monaco on Friday, with Dina Asher-Smith third
Dina Asher-Smith (right) competes against Shericka Jackson over 200m in Monaco on Friday

An exciting women’s 100m race will see Dina Asher-Smith, the 2019 world 200m champion, and fellow Briton Daryll Neita test themselves against a world-class field.

Shericka Jackson, American Sha’Carri Richardson and Marie-Josee Ta Lou from the Ivory Coast, the three fastest women in the world this year, join them in London.

Jackson, the 200m world champion, came out on top over the longer sprint distance in Monaco on Friday night, clocking 21.86 seconds as Asher-Smith ran a season-best 22.23 seconds for third. Richardson, meanwhile, suffered just one defeat all season.

After breaking the British record in Paris last month Keely Hodgkinson will be aiming for an impressive finish to the day’s action as she continues to build towards her bid for world 800m gold.

Jemma Reekie and Katie Snowden, 21, who have lost just once this year, will be joined in the two-lap race, while Neil Gourley, Elliot Giles, George Mills and Matthew Stonier will compete in the men’s 1500m final.

Elsewhere, European indoor champion Jazmin Sawyers and former world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson will compete in the women’s long jump which will feature multiple major medal winners.

There is no shortage of big names across the schedule, with London Marathon winner Sifan Hassan (women’s 5,000m), 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, world 110m breaststroke champion Grant Holloway, and Olympic pole vault champion Katie Moon also among those in action.

British stars such as Hannah Cockroft, Sammi Kinghorn, David Weir and Sophie Hahn will take part in five Para-athletics events which will take place before the start of the main Diamond League programme.

Follow live coverage of Sunday’s London Diamond League on BBC One, iPlayer and online from 13:15 BST.

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