Azu sets sights on British record

Jeremiah Azu smiles at the end of a race
Jeremiah Azu ran 6.60 seconds to win 60m gold at the UK Indoor Championships in February [Getty Images]

Jeremiah Azu says his long-term goal is the British record after he became the first Welsh 100m runner to break the 10-second barrier in wind-legal conditions.

Azu ran 9.97 to win comfortably at the True Athletes Classics in Leverkusen on Saturday.

The 23-year-old’s run put him equal eighth on the British all-time 100m list, alongside Dwain Chambers and Adam Gemili, while he is the 12th British man to go under 10 seconds.

The British record is held by Zharnel Hughes, who ran 9.83 in 2023 to break Linford Christie’s previous best mark of 9.87, set in 1993.

“Honestly I believe by the end of my career I will be able to run the British record,” Azu told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

“I am confident with the set-up I have got and the belief I have got, it’s all catered for me to run extremely fast.”

Azu has been the Welsh record holder since last summer, when he ran 10.08 to beat Christian Malcolm’s previous best mark of 10.11. Azu later recorded a time of 10.04.

Azu ran 9.90 to win the UK Athletics Championship in 2022 but that run was wind-assisted.

He will compete in the European Athletics Championships in Italy from 7-12 June before his focus switches to the UK Athletics Championships at the end of next month.

A top-three finish in that event, which is being held in Manchester, would secure a spot at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Azu’s run of 9.97 – the first under 10 seconds by a European this year - means he has met the Olympic qualifying standard.

“I have known [that time] was there for a long time,” Azu said.

“I think once you start to focus on something so much it becomes harder to achieve it.

“This time I thought let me just enjoy my running today and it came without thinking about it. It’s pretty exciting.”