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Kirani James Gives Grenada First Olympic Medal, Winning 400 Meters

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But James looked fresh and alert Monday night, and he is now the only sprinter from outside the United States to break the 44-second barrier. At 19, he will now face increased scrutiny as to whether he can threaten Michael Johnson’s 13-year-old world record of 43.18 seconds.


Until Monday, the small Caribbean island of Grenada had never had an Olympic medalist in any event. Now it has a gold medal after James, a 19-year-old nicknamed the Jaguar who once starred for the University of Alabama, crushed the suspense out of one of the sport’s toughest races and crossed the finish line all alone in 43.94 seconds.


Gold medal? Check. Speed.

Second-youngest 400m Olympic champion ever? Check. Swagger.

First Olympic medal from native country? Check. Pioneer.

Traded bibs with first Paralympic runner to compete in Olympics? Check. Classy.

First non-American to go under 44 seconds? Check. Champion.

44 seconds of bliss by a 19 year old in his first Olympics. He's just getting started.

And yes I love that moment with Oscar Pistorius.

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