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Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Kirani James

James opens season with world leading time

ARIZONA, United States (CMC):

Olympic 400 metres champion, Kirani James, posted his fastest season opener and the current world leading time of 44.31 seconds at the Sun Angel Track Classic here on Saturday.

The Grenadian quarter-miler was a class act in the men's 400m, which also featured another Grenadian, Bralin Taplin, and Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago. Both athletes competed for Texas A&M University, where Grenadian Alleyne Francique is an assistant track coach.

James, who will be facing LaShawn Merritt next week, never underestimated his Caribbean contenders. He was slow over the first 150 metres, gauging Taplin and Lendore before pulling away into the home straight. Taplin was second in a personal best and collegiate leading time of 44.89 and Lendore finished third in 45.18.

James and Merritt will renew their rivalry on Friday at the Drake Relays, a preview to this summer's International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, China.

French railway sues after cycling race crossed tracks

PARIS (AP):

France's national rail company SNCF filed a lawsuit yesterday after cyclists on a prominent race crossed train tracks just seconds before a high-speed train whizzed past. SNCF announced the move in a statement, saying the incident during the Paris-Roubaix race on Sunday in northern France was "irresponsible" and the cyclists could have been hit by the TGV train.

The International Cycling Union, or UCI, said it has requested a report into the "extremely worrying" incident which could lead to disciplinary action. After some of the riders crossed the tracks 162 kilometres (100 miles) into the race, a railway crossing gate went down, nearly hitting one rider and forcing other cyclists to wait for the train to pass. Some riders broke race rules by going around the gate barrier to cross the train track.

Swiss league wants long bans for hooligans

BASEL, Switzerland (AP):

The Swiss soccer league says it wants stadium bans of several years for fans who forced a match between Basel and Zurich to be stopped by throwing fireworks and flares toward the field. Firecrackers thrown by visiting fans sounded as Zurich scored their goal in the 71st minute of a 5-1 loss at the five-time defending champions on Sunday.

The referee took both teams from the field for 10 minutes before play resumed. League CEO Claudius Schaefer says they were "intolerable acts which must be severely condemned".

Zurich fans also disrupted train services after the match.