Kirani James claimed Grenada’s first medal in Olympic history Monday night, leaving the field behind in a drizzle to win the 400-meter gold by more than a half-second.
The 19-year-old James, the reigning world champion and a two-time NCAA champion for the University of Alabama, finished in 43.94 seconds.
Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic earned the silver in 44.46, giving that country its second medal of the London Games shortly after Felix Sanchez won the 400-meter hurdles.
Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago got the 400 bronze.
The U.S. had won the past seven Olympic titles in the men’s 400, dating to 1984, but none of the three American entrants qualified for Monday’s final. That included 2008 champion LaShawn Merritt, who pulled up with an injury in his opening heat.