News Americas, PHILADELPHIA, PA, Sat. April 25, 2016: Grenada’s London 2012 Olympic Games 400m gold medalist Kirani James emerged the winner at the Drake Relays Men’s 400 Meter Dash Beijing WC Preview to win in 44.22 in Des Moines, USA Friday night.
Only two men, Michael Johnson with 43.75 on 19 April 1997 and Jeremy Wariner with 44.12 on 22 April 2006, have run faster earlier in the year and it was inevitably a 2015 world-leading mark.
James broke Johnson’s meeting record of 44.41 which had stood since 1996.
“I’m very happy with my time,” said James modestly said after the win in cold and windy condition. “This shows that I am in good shape. Good things can happen this season, but nothing is guaranteed. It’s still early.”
Yousef Ahmed Masrahi of Saudi Arabia, finished second in 44.70 while The Bahamas’ Chris Brown was third in 44.76.
Reigning world champion LaShawn Merritt could only manage fifth-place in 45.27.
American Tony McQuay was fourth in 45.15, while Dominican Republic’s 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist Luguelin Santos finished seventh, in 45.69.