LONDON – Grenada’s Kirani James proved this evening that there are other athletic powers in the Caribbean.
With Jamaica having won the London 2012 100 metres courtesy of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt, James took the 400m gold to add to his world championship crown.
James came home in an impressive 43.94 seconds, a new national record. Only the legendary Michael Johnson had previously run faster on British soil.
Trailing in the Grenadian’s wake was the Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos (44.46) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon (44.52) who achieved a personal best.
The highly talented James, from St. George’s, is nicknamed the Jaguar and certainly pounced to take out his rivals in deadly fashion with a stunning execution of the one lap sprint.
He was well up with the pace from the gun. He turned on the gas as he rounded the bend and sped away from his hapless opponents with ease.
The Grenadian had signalled his intent weeks ago. Just prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, the modest James said his goal was “just to run fast, and represent my country to the fullest of my ability. That’s the main goal and anything that comes after that and is positive, I’m happy with that.”
He should be a happy teenager tonight after proving his class yet again. Winning gold in the 400m at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu two days before his 19th birthday, James has continued to make a name for himself.
His world championship gold was his first major international medal in only his fourth professional appearance. The victory in South Korea was also the first senior global medal in track and field for the nation of Grenada.
The United States, winners of the last seven Olympic men’s 400 metres titles, did not have a representative in the final for the first time.