LaShawn Merritt wins men's 400

MOSCOW -- LaShawn Merritt of the United States reclaimed the world title in the men's 400 meters Tuesday, pulling away from the pack early and winning by more than half a second.

Merritt crossed in 43.74 seconds, the fastest time of the year. Merritt also won the world title in 2009.

American teammate Tony McQuay earned the silver in 44.40, and Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic took the bronze in 44.52.

Kirani James of Grenada, the defending world champion and last year's Olympic gold medalist, finished seventh.

"I was hungry, probably the hungriest person in the field," said Merritt, who lost his Olympic title to James in London when the American injured his left hamstring. "No, I was starving. It's been awhile since I was able to perform at my highest level."

Nick Symmonds wound up second in the 800, giving the U.S. the highest medal in that event ever at the worlds.

"I tried to run the race just like I envisioned it," said Symmonds, who was beaten by Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia. "Now, I have the next five days left for sightseeing and celebrations."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.