Grenada’s Kirani James Ready for Caribbean-Dominated World Indoor Final

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 9, 2012

Above: Grenadian sprinter Kirani James (Photo: M Bascombe)

By Michael Bascombe

ISTANBUL – The English-speaking Caribbean could make a clean sweep of the Final of the Men’s 400 metres at the IAAF World Indoor Championships here on Saturday.

And that could start with the current World Champion (Outdoor) Kirani James of Grenada. James is among four Caribbean runners in Saturday’s final and although he finished second his semi-final on Friday night, the Grenadian quarter-miler is confident of a victory.

Costa Rican Nery Brenes (46.01) went ahead of James (46.04) at the tape to be among the two qualifiers from the last semi-final group.

Earlier, Demetrius Pinder of the Bahamas (45.94) and Tabarie Henry of the United States Virgin Islands (46.01) started the Caribbean’s dominance. Chris Brown of the Bahamas (46.37) denied the Americans any finalist.

“The tactic for the race was to go ahead, take control of the race and stay as relaxed as possible,” James said. “I’m all prepared for the final.”

He will be running out of lane one in the final and will have Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic on his inside with Henry, Brown, Pinder and Brenes in the outer lanes.

Coach Harvey Glance is also confident that James will be able to take away the gold medal.

“He knows what he has to do. He is a championship performer, he said. “There is a big target on his back right now and everyone knows that when you are the heavy favourite going into a race like that there is a lot of emotions driving, a lot of motivation. I know he is not shaken. He has been there before. He is going to be okay. He is a champion. The main thing is to get into the final.”

The 400m Men’s final will take place at 7:30 pm local time (1:30 pm Eastern Caribbean Time).

It was a contrasting opening day for Caribbean athletes as Jamaica failed to qualify in the women’s 60m hurdle, the men’s 60m dash and the women’s 400m.

At the end of Day one, Ukraine and the United States lead the medal table with a gold apiece, a silver for Germany and the United Kingdom and Lithuania and Poland with bronze medals.

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