Olympic champion Kirani James lit up the Commonwealth Games with a devastating and graceful run to win gold in the men’s 400 metres on Wednesday.
In a Games hampered by big-name withdrawals and weakened fields, the arrival of the powerful Grenadian was a welcome sight at a wet and windy Hampden Park.
James took charge of the final from the start and looked in complete control as he finished in a Games record time of 44.24 seconds ahead of South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk and Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon.
“I expected to have a great performance,” James told reporters. “I can’t predict the outcome of the event but all I an do is come out here and try my best. Every championship, every accolade, is unique in its own way and these Games are no different. I think the crowd really makes it special; the stadium was full at 10am, that says something about Scotland and how much they appreciate track and field.”
The 21-year-old James has won Olympic and World Championship gold, but he said talk of breaking American Michael Johnson’s World record time of 43.18 was premature. “I’m going to be 22 in September,” James said. “Michael Johnson set the record when he was nearly 32 so I’ve got 10 years to work with.”