Kirani James opens with 44.72, Gatlin, Jeter win in Daegu

DAEGU, Korea (Sporting Alert) — World champion Kirani James cruised to victory on his outdoor debut in the 400-metres at the Colorful Daegu Championships Meeting – IAAF World Challenge Meet – in Daegu, Korea on Wednesday.

The Grenadian star quarter-miler pulled away from the field with over 100m left in the race and then opened up a huge gap on his way to setting a new meeting record of 44.72seconds.

James’ time is the second fastest this year behind the impressive 44.19secs of American LaShawn Merritt.

Finishing second to James was fellow Caribbean representative Renny Quow of Trinidad and Tobago, who clocked 45.65 with third going to Calvin Smith of USA, at 45.70.

Justin Gatlin continued his fine comeback to competitive action with another victory after clocking 9.93seconds to take the men’s 100m.

His fellow American Mike Rodgers was second in 10.06 and third place went to Jamaican Jacques Harvey, in 10.16. American Walter Dix did not compete.

World champion and the on form Carmelita Jeter had to dig deep into her reserves in the latter parts of the race to win the women’s 100m.

The American ran 11.11secs to take first place over Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria (11.21) and Jamaican Aleen Bailey (11.34).

In the women’s 200m, USA’s LaShauntea Moore turned on the turbos in the final metres to surged past compatriot ChaRonda Williams and win in a time of 22.71secs. Williams finished second in 22.82 with Bailey taking third in 23.15.

Jamaican Sherone Simpson was disqualified for jumping the gun.

Aries Merritt continued his good form this season with another win in the men’s 110m hurdles. The American world-leader clocked 13.21secs to take the event over the fast finishing and leaning David Oliver (13.22) and world champion Jason Richardson, also of USA (13.34).

Olympic champion Dawn Harper won the women’s 100m hurdles in a time of 12.65secs – outleaning compatriot Kelli Wells, who posted 12.66. Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica, who has the second fastest time in the world this year failed to recover from early issues and finished third – decreasing at the end to 13.00sec.

Elsewhere, at the meet, Kenya’s Eunice Jepkoech won the women’s 1500m with a 4:05.99 performance, while Ethiopian Mohammed Aman took the men’s 800m race in 1:43.51 (CR).

Ryan Whiting of USA won the men’s Shot Put event with a throw of 21.14m – beating Canadian Dylan Armstrong (20.72) and USA’s Adam Nelson (20.34).

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