Kirani James wins Memorial Borisa Hanžekovića
Kirani James of Grenada

photomark 1 1024x531 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1 1024x531 1Grenadian Kirani James has praises for two of his main rivals in the final of the 400 metres on Sunday, but believes that the battle for the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be very intense.

“It is going to be a dogfight tomorrow so we will see how it plays out. It is going to take a good performance I know that for sure,” said James.

“I think it is going to be highly competitive. I think it is going to be a good show. From a neutral standpoint if you are a fan, it is going to be a good show.

“I feel pretty good. Just going to get back to the hotel and get the team physiotherapist to work on me. Get rid of any kink areas. Just get some rest, get some sleep and just try to get ready for tomorrow.

“It is going to be a late race so it will be a little bit cooler. So we will just see how it goes,” he said.

James will be one of the headline performers in the final, with Lashawn Merritt of the United States of America and South African Wayde van Neikerk expected to be the other two duelers for the gold medal.

The Grenadian, however, spoke glowingly about his rivals as he championed the cause to build up track and field with strong rivalry.

James won his semifinals, in the process pushing Merritt into second position. James did 44.02 seconds with Merritt doing 44.21.

Surprisingly, van Neikerk was second to Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio in their semifinal. Cedenio clocked 44.39 seconds with van Neikerk doing 44.45.

“The thing about Lashawn that is unique for him, he is the most experienced guy. It shows in his confidence and his ability. He knows where he is at physically.

“In the 400, lane assignments going to play a huge role. Fortunately for me in the semis, I had the inside lane on Lashawn, so I could see when he is going to make his move and kind of play off that.

“When you win your heat you get preferential lanes, which are the middle lanes, so I think it is something that we were both trying to do. But I think having the fastest semis, I think he is going to be alright.

“The thing about Wade, when it is time to count on him, he is going to show up and he is going to show up big time.

“When he runs against Lashawn and I, it is always a good performance. Hopefully everything is alright with him that we can put on a show for the fans,” James added.

James, the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as the Daegu 2011 World Championship gold medal winner, is optimistic that the rival in their event can help to propel the popularity of the track and field.

“We are all athletes. We are just trying to do our best for our country, for our family and most importantly to make the sport grow. The more competitions we have, the more time we race against each other, the sport grows.

“It is an honour of people showing you their message board of conversation of who have better technique, who have better finish, stuff like that. If we can generate more interest to the sport then it’s a win win for everyone.”


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