Grenada’s Kirani James counts himself blessed to have medaled in the 400-metre finals at the World Athletic Championship in Oregon, Loop Caribbean News reports.
James completed the race Friday night in a time of 44.58, earning silver.
“So happy to be back on the podium at the World Championships,” he posted on Facebook. “To be in these moments are so special, and I get to appreciate it and enjoy it even more and more.
“Thank you all so much for the encouraging support and messages all through the time,” he added. “You have no idea how much it means to me and how much it keeps me going. I love you all so much!”
Loop Caribbean News said James was beaten by American Michael Norman, who completed the race in 44.29, while Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith came in third with a time of 44.66.
World Athletics said that, for years, Norman has been considered the next great US 400m runner, only to fall short in the pressure moments on the big stage.
“Finally, he delivered when it counted,” it said. “At last, he can call himself a global champion.”
In a career-defining race, World Athletics said Norman pulled away from the field on the final straight to win gold in the men’s 400m on Friday night at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22.
Wearing his trademark white head band, World Athletics said Norman overtook 2011 world and 2012 Olympic champion James with about 80 meters to go and powered to the finish in 44.29.
“It is an amazing feeling for sure,” said the 24-year-old Norman afterwards. “Just to come out here, on let’s say a home track, and pull out with a gold individual medal. It is going to be memorable. I want to remember what took me here and I am just thankful to everybody who supported me throughout the whole career.”
In winning his first individual major senior title, World Athletics said Norman also became the first US world champion in the 400m since LaShawn Merritt in 2013.
In winning his third world medal, the 29-year-old James addED silver to his gold from 2011 and bronze from 2015.
The Grenadian already has gold, silver and bronze from the past three Olympic Games, World Athletics said.
“I knew it was always going to be a battle with Michael,” James said. “I thought I had a good advantage to beat him to see him in front of me. But catching him, it is never going to be easy.”