Kirani James beats LaShawn Merritt in WL 400 meters at Drake Relays!


James-MerrittFH-Drake14.jpgKirani James versus LaShawn Merritt, Drake 2014, photo by

James beats Merritt

DES MOINES (USA, Apr 29): Olympic winner Kirani James despite chilly conditions beat in the 400 m at Drake Relays World champion LaShawn Merritt in 44.08, the second fastest time ever achieved in April (only faster Michael Johnson 43.75 in Waco on April 19 in 1997). It is also a World lead and meet record. Second Merritt also fast 44.22, fourth fastest ever in April (in-between Jeremy Wariner 44.12 on April 22, 2006 also in Waco). In head-to-head all-time situation James now leads over Merritt 11:7 (per Tilastopaja). "It shows that I'm on course to do some great things, so long as I don't take anything for granted and keep on doing the right things for the rest of this season," James said. "I wanted to win the race, but I didn't want to kill myself. The main thing that was tough is that my toes felt frozen. When I tried to really push, I felt like I was tip-toeing," Merritt added per local media. Good times also for third Bralon Taplin 44.92 and fourth David Verburg 45.03. In other Rio Preview events (second half to be staged on Saturday) to note another World lead, Jenny Simpson 4:06.44 in the 1500 m ahead of Kate Grace 4:07.15 and Heather Kampf 4:07.26. 2005 World champ Bershawn Jackson won the 400 m hurdles in 49.30 over Michael Tinsley 49.36 and Kerron Clement 49.86 with Bahamas Jeffery Gibson fourth 49.98. In technical events two wins for Canada by the reigning World champions. Derek Drouin in high jump 224 and Shawn Barber in pole vault 550. Second places for Bryan McBride 224 and Sam Kendricks 550. British World indoor medalist Lorraine Ugen won the long jump with 682 (+3.5, legal 661 +1.1) over Olympic and World winner Brittney Reese 674 (+1.5). Another loss for reigning World indoor champion in shot put as Tia Brooks with 19.37 (equaled her PB) was better than Michelle Carter 18.72. In the mixed shuttle hurdles relay the Team Blue (Castlin, Adams, Ali, Lovett) won in 54.42 over Team Red (Stowers, Parchment, Coward, A. Merritt) 54.77 and Team Green (K. Harrison, Harris, Rollins, McLeod) 54.89. The fourth Team White was disqualified (DeLoach, Riley, Q. Harrison, Oliver).

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