Olympic 400m champion James not focussing on 200m

Last Updated: Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 17:26

Tokyo: Grenada’s Olympic 400 metres champion Kirani James has dismissed speculations that he may take up 200 metres in the near future.

The 21-year-old will run the half-lap at the Golden Grand Prix here Sunday, the second time in three races this season he will compete in the event. However, he said with no global championships scheduled for 2014, running 200m was just for having fun.

“My main event is always the 400m and it will be for a long time. But I also like the 200m too and I want to have some fun this year. I`m just happy that I have an opportunity to actually do it on a competitive level," James said after arriving here for the IAAF World Challenge.

James shot to global fame when he crowned himself World Champion in 2011 Daegu as an 18-year-old. A year later, he emerged as the Olympic champion and even though he surrendered the world title with a poor outing in 2013 Moscow, James said he is firmly focussed on the future.

“That was out of my head since after the race. I just had a bad race and I just had to accept the situation for what it is and move on,” he said.

Though Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake have ensured maximum spotlight for the sprints, James has brought plenty of attention to the 400m with his performances.

And with a major rivalry developing among him, reigning World Champion American Leshawn Merritt, world silver medallist Tony McQuay also of the United States and Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, the 400m is expected to take high billing at future events.

“When you have competition like that, it makes the event more fun. On the whole, it makes the sport more fun. We have the chance to make our event the most competitive, exciting and intriguing event for the next 3-4 years. As long as we can stay consistent, serious, competitive, it`s going to be a very great event to watch and very interesting," James said.

In his two outings this season, James won the 200m in 20.64 seconds at the UTEP Invitational last month and followed up with a second place finish to Merritt in the 400m at the Drake Relays in Des Moines a week later.

IANS

First Published: Sunday, May 11, 2014 - 17:26

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