Zharnel Hughes will undoubtedly be crossing her fingers for that to happen in 2024


After two unsuccessful attempts in the sport because to injuries and blunders, the 28-year-old will attempt to win a medal at the Paris Olympics this summer.

A knee ligament issue prevented him from competing in 2016. Then came the letdown of Tokyo 2020, when he was surprised to see Italian Marcell Jacobs crowned champion after a false start in the 100-meter final.

The knowledge he gained from his World Championship defeat three years before made his recent triumph all the more significant.

This past summer, in Budapest, Hughes earned his first ever solo global medal, making him the first British male to do so in 20 years. He ran the 100-meter race. During his spectacular 2023 season, Hughes shattered not one but two established British sprint records.

Hughes tells BBC Sport, “The injuries I’ve had and how I’ve dealt with them have been the main issues.”.

I was afraid that I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself and not living in the here and now. He claims that he has changed the storyline going into this season.

Having a better time this year. The truth is that I’m not letting my behavior from last season weigh me down. We are all eagerly anticipating Paris 2024 now that a new year has begun. When I return to the field, I will play with all my heart.

“They say third time is always lucky, so I’m hoping to make this one count.”

Hughes, overcome with pleasure as he crossed the finish line, temporarily believed he had won the 100-meter race against American winner Noah Lyles, all because of how close the worldwide final was.

The confidence with which he approached the championships was on full display in his 9.83-second 100-meter race, which broke Linford Christie’s 30-year British record, and his 19.73-second 200-meter sprint, which demolished John Regis’ mark.

The confirmation of bronze on the big screen seconds later would not reduce Hughes’ pleasure at finally seizing his moment and delivering in a major final.

Belief in one’s own talents has remained constant. “Belief was the issue,” Hughes admits, reflecting on his elimination from the 2022 World Championships semi-finals.

My convictions and self-assurance are in harmony now that I’ve found my groove, and the performances are beginning to pile up quickly.

I just want to express my gratitude to all of my fans. My family and friends have been my rock in getting to this point. Although their incredible performances get all the attention, athletes really put in a lot of time and effort behind the scenes. This holiday season, I want to offer them even more happiness and contentment.

Last season, Hughes was again in the spotlight for what seemed like an in-depth timing prediction: he supposedly jotted down the precise timings of his two British record runs in his notebook the morning before the races, and then claimed to have predicted the times to the hundredth detail.

Hughes, a certified pilot and native Anguillan, believes deeply in the transformative power of positive visualization. In his living room at home in Jamaica, he displays a vision board describing his personal and athletic goals.

But when it comes to Paris, time is irrelevant

“I wrote my targets down for this season a long time ago but I haven’t written a time for Paris,” says Hughes.

There, finishing first is less important than earning a medal. Winning the Olympics would just take five seconds.

Still in the planning stages of his races, Hughes is working with coach Glen Mills (who oversaw Usain Bolt’s illustrious athletic career) and hopes to win the European Championships in Rome in June before aiming for Olympic medals. His goals include breaking more British records.

Qualification for the Diamond League Final is another goal of his as the athletics 15-meet series kicks up in Xiamen in April and culminates in the two-day championship final in Brussels in September.

“I know people will be expecting a lot of big things from me now but I won’t let it go to my head,” Hughes says. Hughes is set to make an appearance in a Netflix documentary later this year that follows the world’s finest sprinters.

Just like always, I am following the plan that my coach and I have established.

I used to engage in too much planning ahead of time. This one second is all that matters to me. By not placing too much weight on the expectations, I am able to keep from causing myself unnecessary worry.

As Paris approaches, Hughes is now a strong candidate for the “legacy” he says he wants to leave behind, thanks to his redemption on the international stage and the faith it has given him. He has every right to be thrilled about the new year ahead.

He is now ready to face the key events of his career with poise and dignity, having moved on from his sad and mistaken challenge in Tokyo.

I have moved away from the idea that Tokyo is on fire. Hughes asserts that if he had dwelled on last year’s events, you would not have noticed.

Our partnership came to an end at that point. The arrival of a new year brings with it a new stadium and, at long last, a genuine crowd. An whole new kind of energy.

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