Interview with world, Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist following 400m Diamond League victory
Kirani James enjoyed the support of the British fans that packed the Alexander Stadium on Sunday as he rounded off a strong summer by claiming 400m victory at the Sainsbury’s Birmingham Grand Prix.
The Olympic, world and Commonwealth champion was in fine form as he saw off Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (45.02) and Britain’s Martyn Rooney (45.25) to secure the win in a time of 44.59.
With fierce rival LaShawn Merritt – the world champion and 2008 Olympic gold medallist – not competing, Grenada’s 21-year-old James flew out of the blocks and eased past Brits Rooney and Matt Hudson-Smith before pipping Makwala.
Having set a 43.74 personal best at the Diamond League meet in Lausanne in July, James then went on to set a Commonwealth Games record in Glasgow last month before adding another win in Birmingham on Sunday.
“I think my performance was good, I covered my first 150m very well and I was pleased with my overall race,” he said.
“It was great to come out here and perform in front of this crowd, they’re very excited and I really enjoy competing out there. You really feel like you’re coming out here to perform for the crowd, they’re cheering for everyone not just the British athletes and I think a lot of countries could model themselves on that.
“Every race is unique and there are always different strategies. I had a personal best earlier this year in Lausanne, Switzerland, but I’m happy with the performance I put out here in Birmingham. I think it was very good and I’m looking forward to Beijing (for the World Championships) next year.”