August 17, 2016 8:17 pm
Updated: August 17, 2016 9:10 pm

Rio 2016: Andre De Grasse sets Canadian record en route to advancing to the 200m finals at Summer Games

Jamaica's Usain Bolt jokes with Canada's Andre De Grasse after they crossed the finish line in the men's 200m semi-final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 17, 2016.

Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Canada’s star sprinter Andre De Grasse is off to the 200m finals the Rio Olympics and the runner set a new Canadian record along the way Wednesday night.

The Markham, Ont., native advanced with a time of 19.80 seconds, running side-by-side with Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.

De Grasse, who won a bronze medal in the 100m Sunday night, looks to add to Canada’s medal haul in the finals on Thursday.

Bolt was out in front when De Grasse began to challenge the Jamaican who appeared to let off on the gas towards the finish line.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Canada’s Andre De Grasse smile as they compete in the 200m semi-finals.

REUTERS/Phil Noble

“He asked me why we were running so fast,” De Grasse said. “My coach told me to race him to the line, try and tire him for tomorrow’s final.

“I’m younger and can recover faster, we’ll see tomorrow,” the sprinter said.

Canada’s Andre De Grasse and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt share a laugh as they compete during the men’s 200-metre semi-finals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

As De Grasse closed in, Bolt looked to his right and smiled at the 21-year-old challenger before pulling away for the win.

“He was supposed to slow down,” Bolt said after the race. “I said ‘What are you doing, it’s a semi-final?’ But I think he wanted to push me. I was a bit lazy but I got round.”

Bolt crossed the finish line with a time of 19.78 seconds.

Canada’s Aaron Brown failed to advance in the first heat of the semi-finals with a time of 20.37 seconds, finishing in 7th place.

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