James establishes new track record in 400m win

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Former World and Olympic champion Kirani James continued his comeback with a record-setting victory as he won the 400 metres on Saturday at the Aliann Pompey Invitational.

The Grenadian came home in a a new track record time of 44.99 seconds, comfortably dismissing a field lacking any true star quality at the Leonora Track and Field Centre.

Nigerian Chidi Okezie ran second in 45.97 seconds, while Guyanese Winston George, a two-time Olympian, crossed the line third in 46.13.

Running out of lane four, James was away quickly, making up the stagger down the backstretch to be the favourite with 200 metres left to run.

Coming off the final turn, James was the clear leader and had no challengers over the last 100 metres.

After revealing last month that he was suffering with Graves Disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid and kept him out of action for over a year, James said he was using the comeback to regain his touch.

“We had some rain earlier, so that kind of affected preparations but I am happy,” he told the media following his second win in as many weeks.

“I'm just trying to work on some things, figure some things out, and see how I recover after the race. Things like that. It's a work in progress.”

There was disappointment, however, for Commonwealth Games triple jump champion Troy Doris, who finished fourth in the event after measuring a disappointing 16.09 metres.

American Donald Scott produced a leap of 17.22 metres to win the event ahead of Christian Napoles of Cuba (16.96) and Suriname's Miguel Van Assen (16.67).

Meet organiser Pompey, a former 400 Commonwealth Games champion, said she was pleased with the track and field meet.

“We got to see a world-class field in most events compete,” said the 40-year-old.

“We got to see the athletes locally from Guyana run their personal best, so all around it is good for track and field, it is good for sports, it is good for Guyana.”

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