Ki­rani James vic­to­ri­ous in 400 me­ters at Pre­fontaine Clas­sic

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JAY SOWA

Ki­rani James won the 400 me­ters Satur­day in the Pre­fontaine Clas­sic, pulling away from a strong field at Hay­ward Field.

James, the 2012 Olympic cham­pion from Gre­nada, and Amer­i­can ri­val LeShawn Mer­ritt ran side by side on the fi­nal curve be­fore James turned it on, fin­ish­ing in a world-best 43.95 sec­onds, twohun­dredths of a sec­ond faster than the time he and Mer­ritt ran at the meet this year.

James won that race as well and holds a 9-5 edge against Mer­ritt.

Mer­ritt, the 2008 400 Olympic cham­pion, was both­ered by a knee in­jury in Fe­bru­ary and March that limited his train­ing.

“We’re kind of do­ing the train­ing a lit­tle back­wards,” Mer­ritt said. “I have to run my­self into shape. But the beauty of it is I have the bye so I don’t have to peak for na­tion­als. Just train and get ready for Bei­jing. I’ve been run­ning races, learn­ing ev­ery race, and I’ll put it to­gether.”

Amer­i­can Justin Gatlin showed that he’s not done at age 32. He won the 200 in 19.68, match­ing his life­time best to break the Hay­ward Field record. It was the fastest time in the world this year. Tyson Gay won the 100 in 9.88, ahead of fel­low Amer­i­can Michael Rodgers (9.90).

Gay, whose dop­ing case led to the 2012 U.S. men’s 400 re­lay team be­ing stripped of its Olympic sil­ver medals, ac­cepted a one-year ban in 2014.

He has a goal of mak­ing the U.S. team for the world cham­pi­onships later this year. The USA cham­pi­onships will be held at Hay­ward in June.

“I want to make the team, man,” Gay said. “A lot of peo­ple don’t know, I haven’t com­peted in the world cham­pi­onships since 2009. That’s been a very long time, and peo­ple don’t re­al­ize it be­cause I’ve been around the sport for so long.

France’s Re­naud Lav­il­le­nie, the pole vault world record-holder, had the best mark ever in the United States at 19 feet, 10 1/4.

Ayan­leh Souleiman of Dji­bouti won the Bow­er­man Mile in 3:51.10, edg­ing Amer­i­can Matthew Cen­trowitz (3:51.20) and Kenyan As­bel Kiprop (3:51.25).

Three-time 3,000 steeple­chase world cham­pion Ezekiel Kem­boi of Kenya won for the sec­ond time at Hay­ward Field in 8:01.71, just ahead of coun­try­man Jairus Kip­choge Birech (8:01.83).

Allyson Felix showed her depth, mov­ing up in dis­tance to win the women’s 400 in 50.05. Fel­low Amer­i­can and four-time Olympic cham­pion Sanya Richards- Ross was sec­ond in 50.29.

Felix ex­pects to run the 400 at the USA meet at Hay­ward next month. She also has four Olympic ti­tles, in­clud­ing the 200 in 2012.

Ja­maica’s Shelly-Ann FraserPryce won the women’s 100 in 10.81, the same time as run­ner-up Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast.

AFP

1. Ki­rani James, from Gre­nada, cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the 400-me­ter race dur­ing the Pre­fontaine Clas­sic track and field meet in Eu­gene, Ore­gon on Satur­day, May 30. 2. Sergey Shubenkov of Rus­sia com­petes in the 110-me­ter hur­dles dur­ing day 2 of the IAAF Di­a­mond League Pre­fontaine Clas­sic at Hay­ward Field on Satur­day. 3. Olha Sal­adhu of Ukraine com­petes in the triple jump dur­ing day 2 of the IAAF Di­a­mond League Pre­fontaine Clas­sic at Hay­ward Field on Satur­day.

AP

AFP

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