By Gary Smith, TrackAlerts.com contributor
GLASGOW — Grenadian star sprinter Kirani James defeated a very strong field to win the men’s 400m at the Commonwealth Games at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Wednesday night.
The Olympic champion, who entered the Commonwealth Games as the overwhelming favourite, ran 44.25 seconds to also shattered the meeting record of 44.52secs, which was set in 1998 by Iwan Thomas of Wales.
James took control of the race from the beginning and then made another move at the 200m mark as he heads into the home straight.
The 21-year-old was forced to find another gear in the closing metres though, after he was challenged by Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa, who ran brilliantly well for the silver medal.
“The race wasn’t as fast as it looked but Kirani James took real charge of things,” said former sprinter and 400m world record holder Michael Johnson on BBC One.
“It was a great effort from Wayde van Niekerek who ran the 200m prelims this morning. Maybe if he hadn’t have done that he could have got that bit closer to James and pushed him all the way to the line.
Van Niekerk was second in 44.68 and it was a brave effort from the South African sprinter.
“A really brave effort from Wayde van Niekerk who gave Kirani James a run for his money but the man from Grenada answered all the questions he was asked. He’s on top of the world again,” BBC Sport athletics commentator Steve Cram said.
London Olympic Games bronze medal winner Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 44.78, with England’s Martyn Rooney finishing fourth in 45.15.
Veteran Chris Brown of the Bahamas, who was one of the runners on the list of medal contenders, did not start in the final.