January 25, 2018 / 7:18 AM / 7 months ago

Athletics: Hughes unhurt after being shot at in robbery attempt

(Reuters) - British sprinter Zharnel Hughes escaped without injury after being shot at during an attempted robbery in a Jamaican car park on Tuesday, local media reported.

Athletics - IAAF Diamond League 2015 - Sainsbury's Anniversary Games - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, England - 24/7/15 Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes celebrates after winning the Men's 200m Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs/FILE PHOTO

The 22-year-old was approached by an armed assailant and held at gunpoint as he prepared for training at the University of the West Indies Usain Bolt Track in Kingston.

“I was putting on my sneakers at my trunk and this guy just came up pointing a gun in my face. He asked me for my phone and I ran off and the guy opened fire,” Anguilla-born Hughes told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.

The report added that a licensed firearm holder at the venue returned fire but there were no injuries. Hughes, who represents Racers Track club and has trained with sprint great Usain Bolt in the past, reported the matter to the police.

“‘Protect me from the wicked and evil that tries to come near me’ Thank you guys for keeping me in prayer, I am okay. My utmost respect to each and everyone of you!! #StrongerNow,” Hughes later wrote in a post on his Twitter account.

Hughes’ manager Norman Peart told the BBC that the sprinter then returned to complete training. “He was shaken up... Nothing was taken and police investigations are continuing.”

Hughes has held a UK passport since his birth on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, a British overseas territory, and was cleared to represent Britain in 2015.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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