JEREMIAH Azu has become the first Welshman to win a UK 100m title for 53 years with a stunning surprise victory at the UK Championships.

Last year’s European Under-23 champion, stunned experienced pari Zharnel Hughes and Reece Prescod to take the men’s 100m title with a wind-assisted 9.90 seconds that would otherwise have been a championship record.

It would have also been a significant personal best and a new Welsh record for the Cardiff Met athlete, whose official personal best remains at 10.16 seconds as though he also dipped under 10 seconds, running 9.94, in Friday's semi-final the wind was again too strong for it count.

Victory meant Azu became the first Welshman to win 100m gold at a UK championships since Ron Jones in 1969.

While Azu couldn't register a Welsh record his Wales teammate Hannah Brier did in the women's 100m heats.

Hughes ran 9.91 seconds in the semi-final, although it was heavily wind-assisted, but could only finish third with Prescod second.

Jeremiah Azu celebrates after winning in the Men’s 100m Final during day two of the Muller UK Athletics Championships held at the Manchester Regional Arena. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA WireJeremiah Azu crosses the line first in the Men’s 100m Final. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

“I had it on my lock screen on my phone since last year – 2022 British champion – and to stand here and say it I’m so grateful,” said Azu, who without a legal qualifying time is expected to earn a place in the GB squad for August's World Championships in Eugene through world rankings.

MORE SPORT:

“It’s just the beginning, I’m 21 and I’m looking to change sprinting in Britain forever.”

Azu has already been selected for Wales at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham, and he will now have put others on notice of his potential.

In the women's 100m Daryll Neita pulled off an upset to deny Dina Asher-Smith the British title.

Neita clocked 10.80 seconds to edge out Asher-Smith. Her time would have broken Asher-Smith’s British record of 10.83sec had it not been heavily wind-assisted.

Jeremiah Azu celebrates after winning in the Men’s 100m Final during day two of the Muller UK Athletics Championships held at the Manchester Regional Arena. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA WireHannah Brier after setting a new Welsh100m record during day one of the Muller UK Athletics Championships held at the Manchester Regional Arena. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Swansea Harrier Brier finished eighth in the final, in 11.40, but has still enjoyed a memorable championship by claiming the Welsh 100m record for herslef on Friday.

Brier's victory in 11.33 in her heat secured her the Welsh record which she had shared with Olympian Sallyanne Short, who reached the finals of the 100 and 200m at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Short ran her Welsh record in 1992 and before Azu's victory on Saturday was the last Welsh sprinter to have won a UK 100m title, having won the gold at the 1990 UK championships.

Elaine O'Neil had also equalled Short's record in 2010.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.