Kirani James wins Memorial Borisa Hanžekovića
Kirani James of Grenada

photomark 1 1024x531 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Defending champion Kirani James easily booked his place in the men’s 400m final, set for Sunday’s third day of track and field action, here at Rio 2016.

In the semifinals on Saturday, Grenadian James, drawn in lane four of the first semi-final, ran a well-timed race to finish ahead of American LaShawn Merritt, in 44.02, the fastest time of the day.

Merritt, the 2013 World champion, who was outside James in lane 6, finished second in 44.21 to take the other automatic place.

“I am just trying to represent my country well. That’s all that matters,” said London 2012 champion James.

Merritt said the final is going to be fast. “It’s gonna be a fast race. We want it. A lot of people in that race want it. So when you want something, you go after it,” he said.

James’ teammate Bralon Taplin, who stayed with the chasing pack for 300 metres, ran away in the homestretch to take victory in semifinal 3. He crossed the line in 44.44.
Matthew Hudson-Smith of Great Britain finished second in 44.48secs.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio, who is fancied for a medal, topped semi-final 2 in 44.40. He finished ahead of World champion Wayde van Niekerk, the games favourite, who was second in 44.45.

The other Caribbean athletes Bahamian Steven Gardiner, (fifth in heat three), 44.72, Javon Francis of Jamaica, (fifth in heat one), 44.96, Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, (eighth in heat one) 45.13, and Rusheen McDonald, (sixth in heat two) 46.12, bowed out at the semi-final stage.

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Anthony Foster
Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.

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