Six months out from the Olympics, Kirani James unsure when he will open his season

By February 04, 2021

Olympic and World 400m champion Kirani James has revealed that while his Grave’s Disease is under control he is not yet certain when he will open his season despite the fact the Olympics are only six months away.

 He has not competed since he ran in the finals of the World Champions in late 2019.

“I don’t have a clear idea of when I will compete,” James told Sportsmax.TV in response to queries about when he plans to open his season. In a way, it kind of reflects the uncertainty that has surrounded James these past three years and how he has worked to overcome the associated challenges.

The now 28-year-old Grenadian learned in 2017, that he was suffering from Grave’s Disease, a condition that causes an overactive thyroid. He was diagnosed after an inexplicably poor performance at the Drake Relays where he ran his slowest time in almost 10 years.

He became the most famous track and field athletes since US Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers to have had the disease.

After taking the rest of the year off, James had a winning return to competition at the Racer’s Grand Prix in Kingston in June 2018, running an encouraging 44.35. Then, in 2019, he qualified for the finals of the 400m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha where he finished fifth in 44.54.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, James stayed off the track focusing instead on staying healthy, revealing that he has developed a greater understanding of the disease.

“The situation is under control right now. I have to see doctors and stuff but training consistently is the challenge,” he said explaining how the pandemic has impacted his preparations for the Olympics.

“I just tried to get rest, to be honest. I tried to get as much as I can.”

However, there is still some remaining uncertainty, as far as James is concerned. Asked what kind of shape he is in now, six months out from the Olympics scheduled for July 23 to August 8, James replied, “that’s more a question for my coach (Harvey Glance). He is the one that sees that stuff. It’s hard to gauge how I’m feeling.”

For certain, that will be determined by summer.

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Thompson-Herah and Warholm named World Athletes of the Year Thompson-Herah and Warholm named World Athletes of the Year

    Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021, a ceremony held virtually on Wednesday.

    Thompson-Herah produced one of the finest sprint seasons in history this year, retaining her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo and adding a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay. On top of her Olympic triple, she also clocked world-leading times of 10.54 and 21.53 over 100m and 200m respectively, moving to second on the world all-time lists and coming within touching distance of the long-standing world records.

    “I just take it year by year,” said Thompson-Herah. “I went very close to the world record so you know, anything is possible. No spikes hanging up any time soon!
    “The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target,” she added. “It is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but hopefully, in Eugene,I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on.”

    Warholm uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already broken the world record with 46.70 in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.

    “I’m so happy for this,” said Warholm. “First when I saw the time (in Tokyo), I was like, ‘This must be a mistake!’ Because I didn’t see that one coming. And I didn’t see the victory coming before crossing the finish line.

    “It was a very intense race, I knew the American and the Brazilian and all the other guys were really chasing me. I always go out hard and I never know what is going on behind me. I was just fighting all the way to the finish line. When I realised 45.94 was the reality, I was thinking: ‘This is not too bad. I’ll take it!’"

    World Athletics President Sebastian Coe congratulated all of tonight’s winners and finalists on their extraordinary achievements this year.
    "We have this year celebrated some jaw-dropping performances in Tokyo, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and through our one-day meeting circuits – the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour. So we’re delighted to recognise some of our stars at tonight’s awards.

    "As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number 1 Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God-given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world. I am looking forward to watching what you can all do in 2022."


    The other award winners were:

    Female Rising Star
    Athing Mu
    The US teenager was undefeated at 800m all year, winning Olympic gold at the distance following a long but successful collegiate season. She broke the senior US 800m record with her triumph in Tokyo and then improved it to 1:55.04 just a few weeks later. She also excelled at 400m, clocking a North American U20 record of 49.57 for the distance.
    “It means the world to know that my support goes beyond friends and families and extends worldwide,” said Mu. “This award shows all young girls that your dreams can, indeed, come true."

    Male Rising Star
    Erriyon Knighton
    Throughout 2021 the 17-year-old took down several marks that had belonged to sprint legend Usain Bolt. Knighton first set world U18 bests of 20.11 and 20.04 over 200m, but his rapid rise continued and he broke Bolt’s world U20 record for the distance with 19.88 and 19.84. He went on to finish fourth in the Olympic final with 19.93.
    “I’m really thankful for this award,” said Knighton. “One of my most memorable moments of this year was making it to the Olympic final in Tokyo and finishing fourth at the age of 17.”

    Member Federations Award
    Federacion Costarricense de Atletismo (Costa Rica)
    In recognition for their outstanding training, competition and development programme roll-out over the past 12 months, for their consultative work on the World Athletics Kids’ Athletics programme, and for successfully staging a host of international events over the past year.

    Inspiration Award
    Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi
    The shared high jump victory between Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of the Olympic Games – not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends.
    “It is just crazy if I think about this story,” said Tamberi. “Thank you very much for this trophy.
    “I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers.”
    Barshim added: “I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day!”

    President’s Award
    Peter Diamond, Executive Vice President of NBC Olympic programming
    “Athletics owes Peter a massive debt of gratitude,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Peter has worked alongside us for effectively 40 years and has been a constant source of great advice and wise counsel, and occasional humour that has softened the edges of any particular situation. And he has made athletics a lot better.”

    Coaching Achievement Award
    Bobby Kersee
    The US coach has guided the careers of many legendary athletes over the years, but this year two of his charges made history. Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history after winning her 10th and 11th Olympic gold medals in Tokyo, while training partner Sydney McLaughlin broke two world records in the 400m hurdles and claimed Olympic gold in the discipline.

    Woman of the Year Award
    Anju Bobby George
    The former international long jump star from India is still actively involved in the sport. In 2016 she opened a training academy for young girls, which has already helped to produce a world U20 medallist. A constant voice for gender equality in her role as Senior Vice President of the Indian Athletics Federation, Bobby George also mentors schoolgirls for future leadership positions within the sport.

    Jean-Pierre Durand World Athletics Photograph of the Year
    Ryan Pierse’s photograph of the women’s high jump qualifying at the Tokyo Olympic Games

     

    This year’s award is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Pierre Durand, one of the sport’s most prolific photographers and photo chief for a number of World Athletics Series events, who died in October.
    “This winning image was taken on one of the morning sessions in Tokyo and it was a hot one,” said Pierse, who is from Australia. “I wanted to illustrate the heat and how it was affecting the athletes. It is a picture that I worked on for a while, and it all came together. I am really happy with it.
    “I think it’s incredibly fitting that this award is named in memory of Jean-Pierre Durand,” added Pierse. “I had the pleasure of working alongside him, most recently at the Tokyo Olympics.”

    ________________________________________

  • 2019 World Championship finalist Akeem Bloomfield says he's 100% healthy after injury-riddled season 2019 World Championship finalist Akeem Bloomfield says he's 100% healthy after injury-riddled season

    Former Kingston College standout, Akeem Bloomfield, says he is 100 percent healthy going into the new track and field season.

    The 2019 World Championships 400 metres finalist, speaking on Sportsmax TV’s On Point, says that after sustaining an injury in April, he is ready to go.

    “It was a really bad injury to my right hamstring. I did an intensive rehab process after I got injured. Even though I shut down my season I was still doing rehab. So, I can say for the most part, right now I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said.

    Bloomfield, who holds the Class 1 400m record at the ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships in Jamaica at 44.98, which made him the first Jamaican schoolboy at break 45 second at the championships,  will also be going into this season with a new camp after leaving MVP international and joining the Tumbleweed Track Club based in Florida.

    Other members of that club include Olympic 200 metres champion, Andre DeGrasse, and former Calabar rival and Olympic 400 metres finalist, Christopher Taylor.

    Bloomfield expanded on training alongside Taylor at the club.

    “I can say it’s a very good experience, so far. I mean, we had that high school rivalry so now to put that aside and focus now as professional athletes and train in the same group, I’d say it’s good so far. He’s a very good training partner and I can see us building a very good relationship as the season progresses,” he said.

    In a trip down memory lane for many fans of the Jamaican High School Track and Field Championships, or “Champs” as it is affectionately called, Bloomfield was asked about his famous showdown with Taylor on the anchor leg in the Boys open 4x400 metres relay in 2016.

    When asked if he would have done anything differently looking back, Bloomfield said he wouldn’t change anything.

    “I wouldn’t have used a different strategy because I don’t think people really paid attention to how close our personal bests were. At the time his personal best was 45.2 and mine was 44.9. That’s a very close margin so for me to get the baton 15 metres behind, I can’t be the one to go catch him and then sit behind him. I had to try to zoom ahead and try to hold form and unfortunately it did not work out,” he said.

    The full interview can be seen on the Sportsmax TV YouTube channel.

     

     

  • Five student-athletes receive scholarships from Fraser-Pryce's Pocket Rocket Foundation Five student-athletes receive scholarships from Fraser-Pryce's Pocket Rocket Foundation

    Five student-athletes on Friday received cheques ranging from J$50,000 to J$60,000 under Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s Pocket Rocket Foundation scholarship programme that rewards beneficiaries based on outstanding academic performance whilst competing and representing their respective schools in any sporting discipline.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.