Kirani James is officially out of the World Championships this August after reports have surfaced that the Grenadian sprinter is still recovering from an undisclosed illness. The 2012 Olympic champion has not raced since April where he finished in a sub-par 46.21 for sixth place.

James was seen as one of the main potential challengers to Olympic champion and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk who set a new world lead of 43.62 in the 400 meters in the Lausanne Diamond League meet on Thursday.

James, who finished second to Van Niekerk’s eye-dropping 43.03 race in Rio, along with Americans LaShawn Merritt and Fred Kerley (who had the fastest time in the world until Thursday) was expected to be in the mix in London.

This is the first major IAAF championship James will miss in his career extending back to his junior level years.

Van Niekerk in contrast, seems to have virtually picked up where he left off in 2016, with a world Record of 30.81 in the outdoor 300 meters in June at the Golden Spike Meet in Ostrava and a PB and national record of 19.84 in the 200 meters at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston. He plans to compete in the latter event at the World Champs after and try his chances at the long sprint double.

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