Former Alabama Track Star Kirani James Wins Silver Medal in 400 Meters at 2016 Olympics
Kirani James won the silver medal in the men’s 400-meter final but it took a world-record time to defeat the 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Grenada.
Running out of lane eight, South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk scorched the field with a world-record time of 43.03 to beat James, who finished second with a season-best time of 43.76. LaShawn Merritt of the United States took the bronze in 43.85.
James was seeking to join the United States’ Michael Johnson as the second repeat winner of the 400 meters in Olympic history. The medal is the 12th all-time for Alabama athletes in Olympic track and field.
Alabama Track and Field Olympic Medalists
1972 (Munich): Jan Johnson (USA), Pole Vault- Bronze
1984 (Los Angeles): Calvin Smith (USA), 4x100-meter relay- Gold
1988 (Seoul): Calvin Smith (USA), 100 meters- Bronze
2012 (London): Kirani James (Grenada), 400 meters- Gold
2016 (Rio): Kirani James (Grenada), 400 meters- Silver
1984 (Los Angeles): Lillie Leatherwood (USA), 4x400-meter relay- Gold
1988 (Seoul): Lillie Leatherwood (USA), 4x400-meter relay (Alt.)- Silver
1988 (Seoul): Liz Lynch-McColgan (Great Britain), 10,000 meters- Silver
1992 (Barcelona): Faith Idehen (Nigeria), 4x100-meter relay- Bronze
1996 (Atlanta): Pauline Davis (Bahamas), 4x100-meter relay- Silver
2000 (Sydney): Pauline Davis (Bahamas), 4x100-meter relay- Gold
2000 (Sydney): Pauline Davis (Bahamas), 200 meters- Gold
James is one of four current or former Alabama track and field athletes competing in Rio. Former Tide runner Alex Amankwah of Ghana did not advance out of the prelims of the men’s 800 meters on Friday while 2016 senior Ahmed Ali of Sudan will run in the men’s 200-meter preliminaries on Tuesday. Tide junior Jereem Richards is a member of the 4x400-meter relay team for Trinidad and Tobago that will compete in the relay semifinals on August 19.