Who is the Commonwealth Games star Kirani James?
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Kirani James progressed to the 400m semi-final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with ease this morning posting a time of 45.52 as he won his heat. He could be about to light up these games if he performs to his potential and a big win with a record time will mean he becomes a household name all over the world. But who is James and what has his story been up to this point? Let's find out!
James was born on the 1st of September in Grenada. From a very early age James showed signs of his incredible talent and he has always seemed to be measured against superstar Usain Bolt as a result. In 2007, James won an under 17 gold medal at just 14 years of age as well as doing a 200m and 400m at the World Youth Athletic Championships in 2009 so it is easy to see why the comparisons are made.
In 2011 James announced his arrival on the professional circuit by clocking a time of 44.60 and winning gold at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu at 400m. He became the very first non-American athlete to beat the 44 second mark in the 400m at the London Olympics in 2012 taking the gold medal in the process at the tender age of 19. James has has set his sights on Michael Johnson's 400m world record time of 43.19 seconds as his ultimate goal and he fully intends to beat it.
James is aiming to take home gold in both the 200m and 400m in this year's Commonwealth Games. He had a disappointing final at last year's World Athletics Championships finishing just 7th so this week is a big deal to him. He is still only 21 years old and a good performance in Glasgow will get his steady development back on track towards the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio where he will look to defend his 400m title and beat Johnson's record.