It takes a lot to make Kirani James smile and it is not running 45.89 seconds over the 400m distance.
James of Grenada came into the World Junior Championships as one of the red hot favourites to win a gold medal and he duly obliged on Thursday, holding off Hungary’s Marcell Deák Nagy for the gold medal on a cool evening.
James was winning his third global gold in 12 months after taking the 200m/400m double at last year’s World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy.
The 18 year-old who just finished his freshman year at the University of Alabama was happy for the title but said he prefers to run fast, “I dont care about championships, I just care about running fast. The time was not pleasing to me or the fans.”
What time was he aiming at here, “Just to run faster than my personal best, figure it out.”
James, who at times has been compared to Usain Bolt because of his seemingly freakish talents, ran a personal best 45.01 seconds in May before winning the NCAA title with 45.05 seconds.
The long season has however caught up with him as after making up the stagger on the back stretch and coming into the home straight, he did not have the usual kick and Nagy closed the gap.
James said his legs felt heavy and says “the legs were just not turning over.”
He starts a well earned holiday now however but no doubt will be plotting his strategies for the next season.
Paul Reid for the IAAF