Andre De Grasse failed to get over Tokyo’s slow start, but he’s only just getting started.
No, De Grasse didn’t win a gold medal, but he did get a bronze medal, establishing himself as one of the most decorated sprinters in the world.
Andre De Grasse came out in Tokyo like a man on a mission, clocking 9.91, the fastest in his first run, the fastest time this year.
De Grasse was due to make the most difficult semi-final and, after a false start and multiple technical issues with the starting technology, a long delay meant tense riders.
False starts in the semi-finals and finals were nuances of Donovan Bailey in Atlanta in 1996, where there was also a false start and a long delay.
De Grasse posted a 9.98 in the semifinals that qualified him but stuck him with a terrible lane assignment – on an island in lane nine.
Surprise winner Italian Marcell Jacobs sprinted ahead of the competition to win the men’s 100 meters in 9.80 seconds. American Fred Kerley finished in 9.84 and De Grasse was third at 9.89.
BRONZE FOR OTHER GRASSES
He finished behind Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Fred Kerley in the men’s 100m final pic.twitter.com/U7OfVgC9Qr
– CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) August 1, 2021
De Grasse was in last place at 25 meters, which usually means your night is over in the new corridor. But, similar to his preparation before those games, he was calm enough not to panic, keep his head down and keep working.
He is defeated not only in this competition, but between the Olympics. Two hamstring tears left his 2017 and 2018 campaigns marred with injuries and the delay in 2020 games due to the pandemic put a damper on his training. The fact that he was on the starting line and in good health was a victory in itself.
The Canadian sprinter clocked a personal best 9.89 in the 100-meter final, winning back-to-back Olympic bronze medals in that event.
In doing so, Andre De Grasse won Canada’s first medal won by a man at these Games, adding to the dominance of women in and out of the pool.
Andre De Grasse also climbs a Canadian’s best times list in the 100 meters, now just behind Bailey’s 9.84 (1996 Olympics) and Bruny Surin’s 9.84 (1999 World Championships), tying the Surin’s 9.89 at the 1998 Canadian Championships.
Andre De Grasse is in good company, but gold would have changed his trajectory and cemented him like the face of Canadian athletics.
The title of “the fastest man in the world” has been unchallenged for most of Usain Bolt’s career. That had to change at these Games. With Christian Coleman’s absence from Tokyo linked to a drug test, Trayvon Bromell entered the Games as a betting favorite, but struggled through the innings and missed the final. Bromell entered Tokyo with wins in 15 of his previous 16 100-meter races. His absence on Sunday seemed to clear the top step of the podium for De Grasse.
Andre De Grasse rarely dominates the Diamond League circuit, but “Big Race Dre” often plays the opossum and saves his best for when it really matters.
It was quite an open field for De Grasse to take up the torch of the 100 meters. Since 1996, there have only been four sprinters to win the men’s Olympic 100 meters, with Bailey for Canada, as well as Americans Maurice Greene and Justin Gatlin and, of course, Jamaican Usain Bolt as the three-time champion.
“It’s going to be good; he runs like me, I mean he’s really slow on blocks, but when he starts he starts, ”Bolt said in 2016, predicting De Grasse would stand up and take over after Bolt retired.
Andre De Grasse responded at the time by saying “He feels like I’m next, and now I’m just trying to live up to it.” Which honestly might be impossible.
has the double pressure of being the heir apparent to Bolt on the world stage and to Bailey in Canada.
In addition, the pressure of stay at home. De Grasse and her partner, world hurdles champion Nia Ali, are the fastest parents in the world for their daughter, Yuri, and it looked like De Grasse was going to bring home her own gold medal.
So while it might sound like it doesn’t live up to this hype, the bottom line is that De Grasse is still only 26 and will be 29 when the next Olympics are coming. will take place. Barring injury and interest, he could have other Olympics – if not two. For context, Bailey was 29 when he won Olympic gold in Atlanta in 1996.
Andre De Grasse is eight-for-eight in the Olympic and world championship finals, with every major race he has competed in has won a medal. De Grasse continues to add to his legacy of great racing consistency even if the gold medal still eludes him.
After winning silver in the 200 meters at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the World Championships in 2019, another individual medal is still within reach in 2021.
It wasn’t supposed to be Sunday but his best opportunity is actually ahead of him as Andre De Grasse is better positioned to win gold in the 200m and the Canadians will be in the mix in the 4x100m final as well.
In the 200 meters, her personal best is 19.80, a national record.
Canada’s Andre De Grasse reacts after winning the bronze medal in the men’s 100m final at the Tokyo Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday August 1, 2021. (Frank Gunn / CP)
Andre De Grasse usually runs the peloton, which is why his 200-meter outlook is even stronger than his 100. But the 100 is the flagship event, the money generator that can seem like a lost opportunity even if the performance has gone downhill. been solid.
De Grasse, however, still has a positive outlook.
“I feel like every year I get better. I still have time in me,” the always optimistic De Grasse told De Grasse at the CBC track in the mixed zone after his race. ” I did my best. I am grateful for my performance ”
Andre De Grasse had not gone below 9.9 in 61 professional races, so now that that barrier has been crossed the sky is the limit.
It’s important not to downplay the importance of the personal best of 9.89 which earned him his fourth Olympic medal.
De Grasse did not lose gold, he won bronze. By becoming the first Canadian sprinter to win two medals in the 100-meter, he has shown that he can deliver and that his best is probably still ahead of him, at these games and beyond.