Grenadian James posts world-leading time in 400 metres

first_img Good experience DES MOINES, Iowa, (CMC): Grenada’s Olympic champion Kirani James produced a world-leading time to win the men’s 400 metres at the Drake Relays here on Friday night, and continued his fine start to the new international season. The 23-year-old stormed to 44.08 seconds – the second fastest time ever run in the first four months of a year – to edge American nemesis, former World and Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, who was timed at 44.22. James’s fellow countryman Bralon Taplin claimed third in 44.92. “It shows that I’m on course to do some great things so long as I don’t take anything for granted and keep on doing the right things for the rest of this season,” James said following the performance. “I’m happy with the time, I’m happy with the performance, and I’m just happy to be here at Drake. I always have a good experience here, so all is well.” On a chilly day at Drake Stadium, James showed little negative effects from the weather. Running out of lane five, with Merritt in lane four, James held a narrow lead heading into the final 100 metres and managed to hold on despite Merritt nearly pulling level. The win came against the backdrop of James’s impressive 44.36 run at the Bahamas Invitational in Nassau two weeks ago, and sent a strong warning to his rivals, with attention already on the Summer Olympics in Rio. James, who dominated the London 2012 event but finished third at the Beijing World Championships last year, said he was much more prepared for this year’s showpiece. “Now is a lot different. I understand the event a lot better. I know the athletes more,” he said. “It’s a lot more technical … people look out for you to perform, and that’s part of it.”last_img read more

Watch how an insect scared Naomi Osaka during Australian Open quarters win

first_imgNaomi Osaka is a Grand Slam champion but a little insect can also scare her. Osaka was against her idol and one of the greatest tennis players of all time Serena Williams in the final of the US Open 2018 but that did not deter her at all. An insect at the Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, however, made Osaka run around.Osaka dominated Elina Svitolina in her 6-4, 6-1 quarter-final victory in the Melbourne Park but right after taking a 5-0 lead in the second set, Osaka was chased by a bee and not Svitolina’s play but that scared Naomi Osaka.As soon as Osaka won a point to make it 5-0, she began running away towards the net while looking back. Even after running away, the bee followed her and Osaka was seen waving it away with a disgusted look at her face.Osaka was so troubled by the bug that she even asked the chair umpire to check the back of her shirt if the insect was still there while going towards her courtside chair.Apart from that, there was hardly any blemish for Osaka as she comfortably won in an hour and 12 minutes. Osaka did not celebrate much after winning. It was a subdued celebration out of respect for a hampered opponent and a sign that her work here was far from done.”I already know that to be here is something that a lot of people want, and I know that a few months ago I would have given anything to be in the semifinals of a slam,” Osaka said. “But it’s this weird feeling of, like, you want to do the next big thing.advertisement”And especially now that I won a Grand Slam, I feel like I want to win another one, and I’m so close and I just want to keep going.”OSAKA’S GOAL FOR QUARTER-FINAL — ‘NOT GETTING ANGRY’Osaka was immensely praised after her US Open victory – not only for defeating Serena Williams but also for the composure and calmness she showed during all the drama that unfolded on the court.It was an epic night where Serena had one of the biggest meltdowns of her career. She received three code violations that day – one for racquet abuse, second for on-court coaching and the third for calling the chair umpire Carlos Ramos a “thief”.While Serena and Ramos had an absolute fall-out and the 23-time Grand Slam champion kept screaming and shouting, Osaka was a vision of calmness on the other side. She didn’t let any of that affect her and did her job.Post US Open though, Osaka has been expressive on court and she has shown a lot of emotions. From tears at the US Open ceremony to scolding herself and throwing racquet in frustration of not playing well in tournaments post that, Osaka has been out there. All of this has prompted the 21-year-old to work on keeping a check on her emotions. Naomi Osaka worked on the mental aspect of tennis ahead of Australian Open. (Reuters Photo)”This is something that I have been working on a lot… trying to get deeper in tournaments more consistently. I think I have been able to do that,” Osaka said. “For me right now I just try to keep looking forward. So I’m not really satisfied – like, I am happy that I’m here, but at the same time, I want to keep going. There is more matches to win.””Yeah I mean I tried to be consistent or as consistent as I can,” Osaka said. “She’s a really great player and kind of unfortunate she got injured… but playing against her injured was still really tough.”For me today I just had one goal and it was to try as hard as I can and not get angry. I didn’t do that too well in the last two rounds so I’m really happy.”I feel right now most people know me for U.S. Open, right? And during U.S. Open, I didn’t show any emotions most of the time. But then after that, I did show a lot of emotions. I got upset and then I threw my racket or stuff like that. I don’t really want to do that. I feel I play better when I’m calm.”When I’m not calm, it just makes my life harder… there is an inner peace I can tap into sometimes during my matches, and it’s kind of hard to get to but once I’m there it’s really easy. Not easy, but nothing can really bother me.advertisement”So that’s just something I’m trying to learn how to do consistently.”Also Read | I am a ghost: Naomi Osaka says no one recognises her in MelbourneAlso Read | I didn’t choke on match points, Pliskova played her best tennis: Serena WilliamsAlso Read | I had to warm up 4 times: Naomi Osaka tells Kei Nishikori. Video goes virallast_img read more