Skip to content

LaShawn Merritt crushes Kirani James for world title in 400 meters (video)

Aug 13, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT

LaShawn Merritt turned one of the most anticipated head-to-head showdowns at the World Championships into a rout.

The American blasted past reigning world and Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada in the 400-meter final Tuesday, winning in 43.74 seconds. The two were expected to battle closely for gold, but James was behind after 300 meters and appeared to tighten up on the final straightaway, never challenging.

“I put the pedal to the metal,” Merritt, who watched some of his previous races in preparation Monday night, told Universal Sports. “I knew it was going to take a 43-second race, and that’s what I was ready for mentally and physically. I told my coach, ‘We’re going to have to run a little bit tonight.’”

American Tony McQuay took silver in 44.40, one of six runners to beat the fading James (44.99). Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic earned bronze in 44.52 to follow up his Olympic silver medal.

World Track and Field Championships broadcast schedule

Merritt, 27 and the 2008 Olympic champion, set a personal best by .01 of a second and became the third man to win multiple world titles in the event, joining fellow Americans Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner. He failed to advance out of the heats at the London Olympics, beset by injury.

“I wanted to come back on this big stage, this world stage and put a great race together,” said Merritt, who mouthed “I’m back” to cameras after winning. “That’s what I did.”

James, 20, was more than one second slower than his fastest time of this season and his Olympic-winning time.

“I just died,” James told Universal Sports. “That doesn’t usually happen. I’m not quite sure what happened.”

Symmonds ends drought in 800 | Moscow erupts for Isinbayeva’s gold

Latest Posts
  1. Boston Marathon finish line security visibility increased after backpack incident

    Apr 16, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

    Boston Marathon AP

    Police commissioner asks spectators not to flock to Boylston Street on Monday.

  2. Oscar Pistorius trial will take break for 2 weeks

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius AP

    Judge will spend break reading 2,000-page court record.

  3. ISU receives South Korea complaint over figure skating judging

    Apr 16, 2014, 4:17 AM EDT

    Yuna Kim Getty Images

    Korea Skating Union is protesting the makeup of judges, not the results.

  4. Boston Marathon tribute, moment of silence held near finish line

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary AP

    Survivors, first responders, those affected by attack take part in tribute.

  5. Boston sports teams share same #BostonStrong tweet

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Boston Strong

    Teams’ tweets sent at same time Tuesday morning.

  6. Usain Bolt talks about foot injury, focus beyond 2014

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Usain Bolt Getty Images

    World’s fastest man might not race again until June.

  7. Can Michael Phelps excel in comeback?

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

    Michael Phelps AP

    What is the competition like in Phelps’ potential events?

  8. Oscar Pistorius’ cross-examination ends at murder trial

    Apr 15, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius

    Prosecution asks for break until May 5.

  9. Boston Marathon tragedy remembered on anniversary

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:16 AM EDT

    Boston Marathon Reuters

    Ceremony, moment of silence to honor, remember last year’s tragedy.

  10. Catching up with Mark Henry

    Apr 14, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

    Mark Henry Getty Images

    ‘World’s Strongest Man’ talks about nude photo shoot, pro wrestling career, meeting Andre the Giant.

  11. Michael Phelps coming out of retirement

    Apr 14, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Michael Phelps AP

    Phelps announced as headliner for meet next week, ending two-year break.

  12. How Michael Phelps spent his retirement (photos)

    Apr 14, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Pele, Michael Phelps AP

    22-time Olympic medalist expected to come out of retirement next week.

  13. Update: One runner dies, another goes missing, found after London Marathon

    Apr 14, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT

    London Marathon

    Woman who finished 20th found day after disappearing.

  14. International Ski Federation defends slopestyle’s safety

    Apr 14, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

    Alexey Sobolev Reuters

    It’s too early to draw conclusions on Sochi, FIS official says.

  15. Oscar Pistorius emotionally breaks down as prosecution alleges inconsistencies

    Apr 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius

    Pistorius hugged by woman as he enters court, signs autograph after Monday’s session.

  16. Slopestyle’s injury rate too high for Olympics, IOC official says

    Apr 13, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT

    Shaun White Reuters

    Ski and snowboard slopestyle’s injury rates highest among Sochi sports.

  17. Boston Marathon details security near finish line

    Apr 13, 2014, 7:56 AM EDT

    Boston Marathon Reuters

    More checkpoints, police officers along Boylston Street to the finish.

  18. Mo Farah beaten in London Marathon (video)

    Apr 13, 2014, 7:23 AM EDT

    Mo Farah Getty Images

    Farah asked if he will continue marathon running after disappointing finish.

  19. USOC has ‘serious concerns’ about USA Curling

    Apr 12, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT

    John Shuster, Jared Zezel, John Landsteiner AP

    U.S. men’s, women’s teams combined for 3-15 record in Sochi.

  20. Bode Miller’s next season likely to be his last in Alpine skiing

    Apr 11, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT

    Bode Miller AP

    Six-time Olympic medalist commented while attending the Masters.

Featured video

Inside Michael Phelps' comeback