8 Nov 2008

Former world 400 metres record holder dies

5:23 pm on 8 November 2008

Former world 400 metres record-holder and twice Olympic medallist Larry James has died of cancer on his 61st birthday.

The American was a double medallist at the 1968 Games in Mexico City.

Nicknamed 'The Mighty Burner', James set a world record of 44.1 seconds while finishing second behind Lee Evans at the 1968 Olympic trials in California.

Evans won the race in 44 flat but the IAAF disallowed his time because he wore illegal brush spike shoes.

James went on to claim the silver medal in the 400, behind Evans, in Mexico City before adding a gold after running the third leg of the 4x400 relay.