ATHENS - James Carter won't have to deal with any tight turns when he embarks on his second Olympics today.
Carter, a 1996 graduate of Baltimore's Mervo High who was fourth in the Sydney Olympics in track and field's 400-meter hurdles, drew Lane 8 in Heat 3 of the first round, scheduled to start at 7:46 p.m. Athens time (12:46 p.m. in Baltimore).
Carter has the fastest time in the world this year, 47.68, which won the U.S. trials last month in a walk.
He is favored for a silver medal. Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic won world titles in 2001 and 2003. The semifinals are tomorrow.
Thursday night could be busy for Baltimoreans, with finals in the 400 hurdles and the 200. The 200 field includes a prep rival of Carter's, Bernard Williams. A 400 relay gold medalist in Sydney, Williams will make his individual Olympic debut tomorrow morning, in the first of three rounds in the 200.
Williams, a 1997 graduate of Carver, tested positive for marijuana in June. It's not considered a performance-enhancing drug, so Williams was only reprimanded by anti-doping agencies.