• Athletics

Ujah: I'm coming for you, Bolt!

ESPN staff
June 10, 2014
Chijindu Ujah is just the fifth British sprinter to go sub-10 seconds in the 100 metres © Getty Images

Sprinter Chijindu Ujah has set his sights on Usain Bolt after becoming the youngest Briton to break the 10-second barrier over 100 metres.

Ujah, 20, ran 9.96 seconds in Hengelo, Holland, on Sunday to become the third fastest of just five British sprinters to achieve the fabled feat.

The Londoner has come a long way since finishing sixth in the 2012 World Junior 100m final in Barcelona, won by compatriot Adam Gemili, and Ujah's £2,400 prize money from Sunday's race is his biggest to date.

Barrier-breaking Brits

Linford Christie was Britain's first sub-10 second 100 metre sprinter © Getty Images
  • Linford Christie (1993) - 9.87s

    James Dasaolu (2013) - 9.91s

    Chijindu Ujah (2014) - 9.96s

    Dwain Chambers (1999) - 9.97s

    Jason Gardener (1999) - 9.98s

And now he is keen to test himself against Bolt - once the greatest sprinter of all time recovers from a foot injury.

"It's every sprinter's dream to get on the line with the best people in the world and compete to the best of their ability," Ujah said. "[Bolt] has raised the bar and everybody now feels they can go under the 10-second barrier.

"I don't put any barriers on going sub-10. The times will come, there's still a lot for me to improve on. It seems surreal. When people say to me that I'm among some great guys in history... it hasn't really sunk in."

Ujah, known as 'CJ' or 'Chinji', gave up football at the age of 16 to concentrate on athletics and joins the likes of James Dasaolu, Richard Kilty, Dwain Chambers and Gemili in vying for a place at the European Championships in August.

Such is the strength in depth of England's squad for the Commonwealth Games next month, Ujah will not represent his country in Glasgow. But he welcomes the competition.

"This is what British sprinting has needed for a long time now. Quite a few guys have gone sub-10.2 and are making the trials look very exciting. Things are really hotting up in British sprinting.

"It's definitely exciting but I like those moments and hopefully it can bring out the best in me and the other athletes and we can drive each other to superb times and make the world alert."

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