Kirani James would welcome 400m duel with Bolt
BARCELONA, Spain, Monday November 26, 2012 – Grenada's world and Olympic 400 metres champion Kirani James says that he would welcome the challenge of competing against the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, should the 26-year-old Jamaican decide to step up to the one lap sprint.
The Jamaican sprint icon, who won the prestigious IAAF Male Athlete of the Year award for the fourth time on Saturday, has reportedly considered the longer distance.
If Bolt were to decide to compete at 400m, it would bring "renewed interest to the distance", the 20-year-old Grenadian champion said during the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) centenary celebration party in Barcelona at the weekend.
"It seems a natural move on his part (to step up to 400m) and it would attract attention to the distance," James, a University of Alabama student, said.
The young Grenadian also said that he intended to run more often over 200m to improve his basic sprint speed, but harboured no illusions about challenging the supremacy of Bolt or his heir-apparent and fellow-Jamaican Yohan Blake.
Grenada’s “Jaguar” also noted that he was in no hurry to attempt to wrest the 400 world record of 43.18sec from American Michael Johnson, who has been the fastest man in the world over the distance since 1999.
James' own personal best is the 43.94 he ran at the London Olympics this year.
"It's not something I really think about," James indicated. "My goal in every big race is always to run faster. That way, I am building up to it little by little." Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)