Great Britain’s Reece Prescod is ready to cause an upset at the European Championships – so he can buy his mum a car.
The 22-year-old is eyeing 100m victory, with the semi-final and final taking place on Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
Prescod was the only Briton to reach last year’s final at the World Championships – finishing seventh – and is hunting his first major title.
He is third favourite behind team-mate Zharnel Hughes and France’s Jimmy Vicaut and is unlikely to splash out with any potential winnings he may get from sponsors Nike, choosing instead to treat his mum Jennifer.
He said: “My athletics career is short, so as much as I want to enjoy myself at the time, I can’t just go and spend money left, right and centre.
“I come from a single-parent family and my mum’s helped me out for the past couple of years so as long as she’s good, that’s my priority.
“My mum’s got bills to pay and I’ve got to help her, so as much as I would love to live a footballer’s glamorous life, I’ve still got real life to deal with. I’ve still got to pay my council tax and service charge.
“She does want a new car. She wants to get a Beetle convertible as long as I run well. She just assumes she’s going to get it. I feel like I can’t ignore my mum.”
In the stadium where Usain Bolt ran 9.58 seconds to set the 100m world record in 2009, the British record could also fall.
Linford Christie’s mark of 9.87 seconds has stood for 25 years, with Prescod running a wind-assisted 9.88s, Hughes 9.91s and CJ Ujah – the reigning Diamond League champion – 9.95s.
Prescod said: “You’d hope. When I ran 9.88 in Prefontaine it didn’t feel that hard – the sun was out, the right guys were in the race. I just hope the guys can bring the right intensity to the race because that is always a good thing.
“With the 100, if you have really good starters and good finishers, if everyone does their job, your best race will come out.”
Hughes remains favourite having set his personal best of 9.91s – the joint second fastest Briton of all time – in June and knows he is in the spotlight.
He said: “Under the radar for me would be better. I have tried not to let anything outside impact me – I have just been training normally, just telling myself it is just the European Championships and to stay relaxed. I’m coming in as favourite, yes, but at the same time I am relaxed.”
He is also a man who Bolt calls ‘Captain’ as he is learning to fly and wants to become a pilot after he retires.
“Not only Usain, but everyone in the club does,” said Hughes, who trains under Bolt’s former coach Glen Mills at the Racers Track Club in Jamaica.
“Some of the call me ‘Captain’ and some call me ‘Swift’. It’s from back home. I ran fast, everyone knows ‘Sonic’ and ‘Flash’ so they decided to come up with something different. One day someone said ‘we’ll call you ‘Swift’’. I said ‘’Swift’? That sounds cool.’
“I named myself on Facebook ‘Zharnel ‘Swift’ Hughes’ and I’ve been stuck with it. The pilot thing came about and Bolt and everyone in the club call me ‘Captain’. Every time I go and fly they say ‘Captain, be safe.’”