Grenada’s Kirani James sets world leading time with dominant win at Diamond League

Saturday, May 30, 2015

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OREGON, United States (CMC) – Grenada’s super star athlete Kirani James outclassed rival LaShawn Merritt and blew away the field with the fastest time of the year to post a commanding victory in the 400 metres at the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

James stopped the clock at 43.95 seconds to set a world- leading time while underscoring his growing stature as a dominant force in the quarter mile this season.

The Grenadian now leads his American rival, who finished in 44.51 seconds, 9-5 in their career head-to-head record.

Chris Brown of the Bahamas ran an impressive race to secure third place in 44.54 seconds.

In a perfectly judged race, James worked hard for the first 200 metres before Merritt moved alongside him at the top of the final bend setting the stage for another close finish.

However the two athletes only matched strides briefly in the early phase of the home stretch until James powered away from Merritt and the rest of the field.

“When I came out and saw the crowd I was excited. That was all the support I needed to come out here,” said James in a post-race interview.

“I am just trying to come out here and make sure I represent my country properly and just have fun”.

There was also success for Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who edged out Murielle Ahoure from Ivory Coast to win the 100 metres in 10.81 seconds.

Both sprinters posted the same time but Fraser-Pryce prevailed in a nail-biting finish to rebound from a disappointing outing in Shanghai just under a fortnight ago.

Another Jamaican, Nickel Ashmeade had to settle for third place behind South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana as Justin Gatlin sped to victory in the 200 metres.

Gatlin clocked 19.68 seconds to emulate his personal best and world leading time of 2014 and match the blistering mark he set in Monaco last season.

Jobodwana finished in 20.04 seconds while Ashmeade registered 20.18 seconds.

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