Kirani James won his season opener at the Canyon Invitational held at the GCU Track & Field, Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday. The 2012 Olympic champion won the 400m in 44.88s, the eighth fastest time in the world this year.
The 28-year-old Grenadian was almost a second faster than Nijel Amos, who came in second in 45.69 seconds. Isaac Allenarem was third in 46.67.
James has not been at his best since 2017 when was diagnosed with Grave’s disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. Since then, he has struggled to get the disease under control.
However, he revealed earlier this year that during 2020 and into early this year, he has worked rein in the effects the disease has had on his body.
“The situation is under control right now. I have to see doctors and stuff but training consistently is the challenge,” said James, who was a finalist in the 400m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar. “I just try to get rest, to be honest. I tried to get as much as I can.”
He now has three months to get ready for the Olympics while trying to keep his affliction under control, recognizing that he needs to go a lot faster if he is to have a shot at a medal in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert-Powell won the 100m in 11.61.
Ky Westbrook and Shakeia Pinnock were second and third in 11.66 and 11.76, respectively.