Above: Kirani James
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Grenada’s Kirani James started his 2014 Diamond League season with a bang, winning the 400M at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet this weekend in Oregon.
The 21-year-old James finished in 43.97 seconds, the same time as American Lashawn Merritt, but won with a late lean in a photo finish at the end of the race. It also represented an improvement over his second-place finish at the Prefontaine last year.
The 43.97 time is now the world lead for 2014.
Saudi Arabia’s Youssef Ahmed Masrahi finished third with a time of 44.77 seconds, followed by the Bahamas’ Christopher Brown.
Merritt had held the early-season world lead following his victory at the opening Diamond League meet in Doha earlier this month.
It was as good a start as James could have asked for following a disappointing end to the 2013 season that saw him finish seventh in the 400M at the World Championships in Moscow.
James won Grenada’s first-ever Olympic gold medal (and first-ever medal of any kind) at the 2012 London Olympics in the 400M.