British Championships: Zharnel Hughes quickest in 200m heats

Zharnel Hughes
Hughes was ruled eligible to compete for Great Britain last month
British Championships
Venue: Birmingham Dates: 3-5 July
BBC coverage: BBC Two and online on Sunday, 5 July 14:20-18:00 BST

Anguilla-born GB sprint hopeful Zharnel Hughes cruised into the 200m final of the British Championships.

The 19-year-old eased down in the final 40 metres as he won the second of three heats in Birmingham, but still qualified fastest in 20.55 secs.

Hughes, whose Caribbean home is a British Overseas Territory, will now be strongly fancied to win Saturday's final at 19:05 BST.

James Ellington (20.73) and Danny Talbot (20.74) won the other heats.

Hughes, edged into second place by Usain Bolt over 200m at a Diamond League meeting in June, is one of four overseas-born athletes attempting to qualify for the World Championships this weekend.

After being ruled eligible to compete for Team GB last month, Hughes, who in March last year broke Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake's 100m world junior record with a time of 10.12 secs, says he is targeting the 2016 Rio Olympics. Hughes told BBC WM: "I'm just focusing on executing my race.

Zharnel Hughes gave Usain Bolt a scare in the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in New York last month

"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."

American-born trio Cindy Ofili, Shante Little and Montene Speight will also compete this weekend.

Ofili will attempt to qualify in the 100m hurdles, with Little and Speight competing in the 400m hurdles and 400m respectively.

Who are the new Brits?
EventBornHow do they qualify?
Zharnel Hughes, 19200mAnguillaHas held British nationality since birth
Cindy Ofili, 20100m hurdlesUnited StatesDual nationality through her mother, along with sister and GB hurdler Tiffany Porter
Shante Little, 22400m hurdlesUnited StatesHolds British nationality through her Colchester-born mother.
Montene Speight, 22400mUnited StatesHolds British nationality