Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grenadian Teen Kirani James wins World Champs Gold

DAEGU, South Korea | Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:43pm IST

(Reuters) - Teenager Kirani James chased down defending champion LaShawn Merritt on the home straight to win 400 metres gold and Grenada's first medal at the world championships on Tuesday.

James, who turns 19 on Thursday and has run just a handful of senior races after winning a string of junior titles, surged past American Merritt just before the line to claim victory in a personal best time of 44.60.

Olympic champion Merritt, who has just returned from a 21-month ban for doping, had come round the final bend with what looked like a comfortable lead before being beaten by James's finish.

Merritt took his second world championship silver medal in 44.63 with Belgium's Kevin Borlee, whose twin Jonathan was also in the final, claiming bronze in 44.90.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ed Osmond)

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