Kirani James, one of the lead contenders for the Olympic one-lap crown, according to Olympics.com, placed third and won bronze in the 400m final on Thursday with a time of 44.19 seconds.
James who was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease in 2017 used his recovery time to complete his business degree at the University of Alabama, Olympics.com said.
In his home town of Gouyave, St. John’s, residents came out to celebrate their local hero and Grenada’s first Olympian in a carnival like atmosphere despite the threat of COVID-19.
James earned gold at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016.
“Like women’s 100m champion Gail Devers, he will need to take medication for the condition for the rest of his life,” states Olympics.com.
“He took time out in 2019 following the death of his mother, and needed the final day of the qualification window to make the Doha World Championships after some niggling injuries. Given that build-up, his fifth place behind Gardiner was more than respectable,” Olympics.com said.
“And he’s shown that he’s right back to his best in Tokyo, winning his semi-final in a very fast 43.88,” it added. “While that performance was not as effortless as Gardiner’s, the 28-year-old is sure to be right in the mix for a third Olympic medal.”
Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas won the race, winning gold, in 43.85 sec with Anthony Jose Zambrano of Colombia placing second in 44.08 sec, winning silver.
The other top contenders for the Olympic one-lap crown on Friday, Aug. 5 are world champion Steven Gardiner and Michael Norman. Is van Niekerk’s world record under threat? After an injury-marred Olympic cycle, Olympics.com noted that Wayde van Niekerk failed to reach the final in the defense of his Olympic title from Rio 2016.
The South African smashed the world record to take gold five years ago, but another man will be crowned the one-lap king, Olympics.com said.
It said reigning world champion Gardiner leads the contenders for what promises to be a thrilling final.
Gardiner won the 400m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha in “emphatic fashion, ahead of Fred Kerley who took 100m silver here in Tokyo,” Olympics.com said.
It said Gardiner also came out on top in the strongest pre-Tokyo field this season, beating American pair Bryce Deadmon and Michael Norman at last month’s Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Hungary.