James Dasaolu produced a blistering sprint of 9.91 seconds to become the second fastest Briton of all time in the 100 metres semi-finals at the British Championships on Saturday.
Dasaolu ran quicker than even world record holder Usain Bolt has managed this year to catapult himself into contention for a medal at next month's World Championships.
The 25-year-old's time in Birmingham was second only to former Olympic champion Linford Christie.
Dasaolu shattered his personal best, which had been 10.03secs, and he is now ranked fourth in the world just a month before the World Championships get under way in Moscow.
Only Tyson Gay of the United States, who tops the rankings with 9.75secs, Asafa Powell, who did not qualify for the Jamaica team for Moscow, and America's Justin Gatlin have gone quicker this year.
Jamaican Bolt, the double Olympic champion, has a best of 9.94secs this year.
"Fourth in the world, I can't complain. Bring on the finals," Dasaolu said.
Not since Christie also ran 9.91 at the Commonwealth Games in 1994 has a Briton hit such heights.
But Dasaolu, who reached the semi-finals of the 100 metres at the London Olympics and won silver at the European Indoor Championships in March, was denied the chance to go for Christie's 20-year-old national record of 9.87.
He decided to pull out of Saturday's final after suffering from cramp following his superb run.
Dasaolu has had injury problems in the past and had clearly done enough to secure his place on the British sprint team in Moscow.
UK Athletics said in a statement the decision was made in agreement with Dasalou's coach Steve Fudge and UKA performance director Neil Black.
"I don't want to let anybody down and I was looking forward to taking my first British Championships 100m title," Dasaolu said. "But my ultimate aim is to be fit for Moscow and I don't want to risk an injury competing in the final."