Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 08:48 | By Agence France-Presse

James the star turn as athletes take centre stage

Grenada's Olympic champion Kirani James will start as the hot favourite in a star-studded men's 400 metres final at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.


James the star turn as athletes take centre stage

File photo of Grenada's Kirani James - by Olivier Morin

With the swimming competition having wrapped up late on Tuesday, all eyes will now turn to Glasgow's Hampden Park as some of the world's finest track and field athletes take centre stage.

One such is James, who sauntered to victory in the semi-finals in a time of 45.14sec.

"I was conserving some energy for the final, but it was very competitive out there. It's all about coming out here and representing my country and doing them proud," said the 21-year-old.

"All seven other guys will be dangers, but I hope to go out there and do my best. It's not about being number one, but doing everyone -- and especially my family -- proud."

Among the athletes plotting James's downfall are the Trinidad and Tobago trio of Jarrin Solomon, Renny Quow and Olympic bronze medallist Lalonde Gordon.

South African Wayde van Niekerk, Bahamas duo Chris Brown and Latoy Williams, and England's Martyn Rooney complete the eight-man line-up.

The 400m is one of seven gold medals on offer as the athletes will have the limelight largely to themselves for the fourth day of their events.

Nigeria's 100m champion Blessing Okagbare will look to take another step in her bid for a glorious treble when she begins her assault on the 200m in the heats.

Meanwhile, world silver medallist Warren Weir begins his bid to secure a double sprint gold for Jamaica in the men's 200m.

Elsewhere, untouchable New Zealander Valerie Adams bids for a third shot put title, while world 800m record-holder David Rudisha of Kenya races in the semi-finals.

- 'Welsh weather' -

A keenly contested heptathlon comes to a close, with Canada's Brianne Thiesen-Eaton in pole position, while there are also titles at stake in the men's high jump and long jump, and women's 3000m steeplechase and javelin.

England's reining Olympic champion Greg Rutherford will be among the men hoping to succeed Australia's Fabrice Lapierre in the long jump final.

After Wales claimed two gold medals in two days in the pool, defending 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene will look to provide further Welsh success on the track when he opens the defence of the title he won in Delhi in 2010.

"My Commonwealth Games starts tomorrow at about 11:30am (1030 GMT)," he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

"Always proud to wear the red vest of Wales. I'm expecting some Welsh weather too."

Medals will also be up for grabs in the diving, with the finals of the women's synchronised 10m platform and 3m synchronised platform due to take place in Edinburgh.

Canada lead the world rankings in each discipline, but Australia's Melissa Wu is looking to defend the 10m title she won in Delhi alongside new partner Rachel Bugg.

The final of the men's 1m springboard is also taking place.

The men's and women's all-around gymnastics finals are on Wednesday's agenda and there will be five gold medals on offer in wrestling and two in weightlifting.

In the women's hockey, passions will run high when local rivals England and Scotland face off in Pool B, with a place in the semi-finals at stake.

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