'I'm trying to improve my health and preparation day by day,' says James

Monday, June 11, 2018

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Grenada's 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James received his awards from Dr Dana Morris Dixon, Jamaica National Group's chief marketing and business development and research officer, after winning the Men's 400-metre race at the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday, setting a new meet record of 44.35 seconds in the process.

After the race, James said he was “trying to improve my health and preparation day by day. It's just a blessing to be here and competing... I am just getting back to racing after a year and some months and trying to stay focused and determined.”

James produced a final burst to beat Fred Kerley of the United States by 100th of a second.

The impressive showing came one day after James announced that he has Graves disease, an immune system disorder resulting in an overproduction of thyroid hormones.

The 24-year-old James came from behind with about 40 metres remaining to catch Kerley who got off to a fast start.

The Grenadian, who won gold and silver at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, had announced in a pre-meet press conference Friday that he was suffering from the disease.

“I found out I had Graves disease and for people who don't know what that's about, it's a disease that affects your thyroid.

“And when it overacts it affects your hormones, speeds up your metabolism, weight loss, muscle weaknesses, shortness of breath, a lot of symptoms; sometimes it varies. So I had to see doctors and be on medication.

“It's been a long road, so I am just glad to be back. And I just want to thank the Racers Grand Prix for inviting me and giving me an opportunity to come back and open up to see where I am at. I am just happy to be back,” he said.

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