KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Former World champion, Grenadian Kirani James, set a new meet record in his first outing in over a year, when he snatched a dramatic win at the Racers Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old, who revealed last weekend he was battling Graves disease, produced a sterling stretch run to catch leader Fred Kerley in a time of 44.35 seconds and finish 100th of a second clear of the American in the men’s 400 metres on Saturday.
Fellow Grenadian Bralon Taplin was third in 45.11 seconds.
James, who has not competed since April last year, has been battling injury and illness.
“I am just getting back to racing after a year and some months and trying to stay focused and determined,” said the 25-year-old.
Former World and Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, also continued her comeback with a thrilling victory in the women’s 100m.
The pint-sized Jamaican was timed at 11.10, ahead of American Jenna Prandini in 11.14, while another Jamaican, Briana Williams, trailed in third in 11.26.
In only her third race since returning after a year layoff, Fraser-Pryce separated herself from the field after 40 metres but was then forced to fend off a late surge from Prandini to take victory.
“I think the crowd gave me an extra push. I was a little nervous but when I heard the screams and shouts, I just got calm and I remembered … this is home ground,” Fraser-Pryce said.
“It was really emotional. It is just because I don’t cry very often why I didn’t cry, but it was really a warm reception. I am just really happy to be here.”
In the men’s equivalent, former Anguilla sprinter Zhanel Hughes came late to take victory in 9.91 seconds, with American Noah Lyles second in 9.93, and Jamaican Yohan Blake third in 10 seconds flat.
Running out of lane three, Blake held an early lead before Hughes produced a late acceleration, taking Lyles with him, to nip Blake.
In the women’s 200 metres, Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo extended her excellent form this season in the event, to win in a time of 22.11 seconds.
The Olympic 400m champion, Miller-Uibo dominated the stretch run to finish ahead of the Jamaican pair of Sherica Jackson (22.62) and Shashalee Forbes (22.86).
Jamaica, swept the women’s 400 metres hurdles, with Leah Nugent taking the top spot in 54.67 and Janieve Russell (54.89) and Rhonda Whyte (55.23) rounding out the podium.