London 2012 / Track and field Kirani James wins 400-meter event
Jewish sprinter Solomon makes final.
Kirani James, the 19-year-old Grenadian, won gold in the 400-meter final yesterday in a time of 43.94 seconds. The final had no American participants, though the United States has won 20 medals in the event.
The Dominican Republic's Lueguelin Santos, also 19, took silver in 44.46, with bronze medalist Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago finishing in 44.52 seconds.
Australian-Jewish sprinter Steven Solomon came in last at 45.14 seconds. Solomon, 19, who only took up professional sprinting in 2009, bolted through the first semifinal in 44.97 seconds - finishing third with an improvement on his previous personal best from the heats.
"I came third and I wasn't quite sure if I was going to make it," the Sydney resident told media after the semifinal. "I'm absolutely stoked. I came into the race really nervous. I really wanted to make the final. I really believed in myself and when I crossed the line I saw that I had broken the 45 [-second] barrier. Two personal bests in two days."
Later in the evening, Jennifer Suhr of the United States unseated reigning champion Elena Isinbaeva of Russia in the women's pole vault. Suhr cleared 4.75 meters. Isinbaeva took bronze behind Cuba's Yarisley Silva.