'It's nothing we can control' - Grenadian Olympic gold medalist James taking Tokyo postponement in stride

By Sports Desk March 31, 2020
Grenada sprinter Kirani James. Grenada sprinter Kirani James.

Grenadian Olympic gold medallist Kirani James admits to being uneasy over the uncertainly surrounding the rest of the track and field season but does not believe he will be severely impacted by the cancellation of the Olympic Games this year.

After months of deliberation and some amount of hesitance, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the Games would be pushed forward by a year, as the world struggles to come to grips with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

For thousands of athletes around the world, the news would come as a hammer blow with months of preparation upended and a year added to a chance to shine at athletics signature events.  For some, already struggling to make a final appearance due to aging, aching limbs it was even a tougher pill to swallow.  The 27-year-old James, who is already a World and Olympic champions, does not fall into that category. 

“I don’t think so (Impacts chance of medaling at next Olympics), at least not right now. It is what it is,” the former University of Alabama sprinter told TideSports.

“It’s not the fault of anything we can control. We just take it as what it is and try our best to prepare. That’s the decision they came to and we have to accept it. We have to prepare as best as we can.”

Like the majority, he believes it was a necessary evil.   

“The way I see it is, for them to postpone it, they’re taking this pandemic very seriously and I’m sure if there was a way where they could keep it for this year, they would have.  Obviously, they exhausted all their options. It is what it is. At the end of the day, safety and health trumps the Olympics every time,” he added.

James won the 400m gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, after claiming gold at the World Championships one year prior.  The sprinter then went on to claim silver behind world-record breaker Wayde van Niekerk at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  James saw his career severely hampered after being diagnosed with Graves' disease.  He has since recovered and was confident things were progressing well for Tokyo before the delays.

“Training was good. It was very consistent, the workouts and everything.  Really it was just gearing up for the start of the season in April. Everything was on track.”

Related items

  • What does Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s silence on coaching issue mean? What does Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s silence on coaching issue mean?

    There have been rumours that World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is no longer being coached by the MVP Track Club and the man who brought her to stardom, coach, Stephen Francis.

  • Ex-Warriors star Bogut open to NBA return after Kings exit Ex-Warriors star Bogut open to NBA return after Kings exit

    Former Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut said he is open to returning to the NBA as "I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank" ahead of the Olympic Games.

    Bogut is a free agent after opting to quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 35-year-old Australian – who won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 – had been planning to retire following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back due to COVID-19.

    Bogut returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season while contracted to the Kings and the NBA's former number one pick is pondering another stint in the United States.

    "I had NBA offers right before the COVID-19 pandemic, where I was potentially going to go back after the NBL season. I was talking to a few teams that wanted me to come over," Bogut, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, told SBS Sport.

    "Yes [I would consider another NBA stint], especially halfway through the season when the buyout and trade season comes up.

    "It saves me having to spend the whole season over there and I can kind of join someone late, like I did with the Warriors last time.

    "[I] can try to make a play-off run and then let that phase into the Olympics. I still think I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank."

    Former Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.

    Bogut was named the NBL's MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.

    "There are just too many unknowns right now. Not just in the basketball community but around the world," Bogut said as he discussed his Kings departure.

    "I wasn't going to commit to something half-assed and not know what's in the other end. I thought it was best to hit pause for now and reassess around about the new year, rather than me sitting here with one foot in, one foot out and the club not knowing where I'm at, so they can't act accordingly with recruiting, signing and the salary cap.

    "I didn't want to have that pressure of every week having to call and say 'I don't know yet'. I think in fairness to the club, it's the best thing for the Kings to be able to make decisions they need to make without worrying about me at the other end."

  • Child skateboard star with Tokyo Olympic dream 'lucky' to survive training crash Child skateboard star with Tokyo Olympic dream 'lucky' to survive training crash

    An 11-year-old British skateboarding prospect for the Tokyo Olympics is "lucky to be alive" after she suffered a harrowing crash in training.

    Sky Brown vowed to "come back even stronger" from the accident that saw her airlifted to hospital with fractures to her skull and breaks to her left hand and wrist.

    Brown had been training with Tony Hawk, a superstar of the sport, at his California base on Thursday.

    Video footage of the lead-up to the crash was posted on the youngster's Instagram account, which is managed by her mother, Mieko, revealing the moment Brown seemingly attempts to cross from one ramp to another.

    It showed her appearing to lose momentum and being unable to keep up with the skateboard, before she begins to fall as the footage is stopped.

    She landed head-first on her hand. Emergency services and a helicopter are pictured in the video before the injured youngster is shown in her hospital bed.

    Brown says to the camera: "I don't usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do, but this was my worst fall.

    "And I just wanted everyone to know that it's okay, don't worry, I'm okay. It's okay to fall sometimes and I'm just going to get back up and push even harder."

    She added in a written note: "I’m excited to come back even stronger and even tougher."

    Hawk responded to Brown's Instagram post by sending the message: "Worst day ever. Hope your surgery went well."

    Brown's father Stu, quoted on the BBC, said: "Sky landed head-first off a ramp on her hand. When she first came to hospital, everyone was fearful for her life.

    "Sky had the gnarliest fall she's ever had and is lucky to be alive."

    Brown is hoping to become Britain's youngest Olympian at a summer Games next year.

    Team GB sent her a message on Twitter, saying: "Get well soon, Sky Brown. We know you'll return stronger than ever."

    Skateboard GB CEO James Hope-Gill said: "Our thoughts are with Sky and her family, and we wish her a speedy recovery."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.