Aug. 26, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Former Alabama sprinter Kirani James, running for the country of Grenada, crossed the finish line third in the 400m final on Wednesday, claiming a bronze medal at the 2015 IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing.
After winning his heat in both the prelims and semifinals, James posted a season-best 43.78 in the finals. He was just edged out by South Africa’s Wayde Van Nierkerk, who turned in the fourth-fastest time in 400m history at 43.48, and American LaShawn Merritt, who was the defending champion in the event and ran a personal-best time of 43.65. It was the first race ever that featured three men finishing in under 44 seconds.
James, who was a member of the Crimson Tide program from 2009-2011, now holds a gold and bronze medal from the IAAF World Championships, winning the gold in the 400m at the 2011 Championships. A two-time NCAA champion in the 400 meters and 2011 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Runner of the Year, he won three gold medals in junior international competition before breaking through to win Olympic gold in the 400 meters at the London 2012 Olympics. James won with a time of 43.94, becoming the first Grenadian to ever win an Olympic medal. He was also the first non-US runner to break the 44-second mark in the 400 meters. James comes in with the second-fastest time in the event on the year.
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