Canada’s Andre De Grasse has taken home the gold in the men’s 200-metre race at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., won with a time of 19.62 seconds, breaking the Canadian record he had set just a day before in the semifinal. Kenneth Bednarek of the U.S. came in second with a time of 19.68, and another American, Noah Lyles, took bronze with a time of 19.74 seconds.
This is De Grasse’s second medal at this Olympics: he also won bronze in the 100-metre.
Another Canadian, Aaron Brown, came in sixth place with a time of 20.20.
This is the first time Canada has had two men in the 200-metre finals since 1928.
“In 2016 I was a kid and inexperienced but now I have so many expectations to come away with medals,” said De Grasse, who won silver behind Usain Bolt in the 200-metre in Rio.
“I knew the Americans were going to push me, and they were going to take me to a personal best,” he said. “It’s been five years since I had a personal best, so it was just good to get that finally out the way.”
De Grasse’s family was just as pleased about his win.
“I’m super, super proud and I’m super, super excited. I feel like I’m on a high and I don’t know how to come down,” Beverley De Grasse, Andre’s mother, told reporters at her Pickering home on Wednesday.
“Even though like I was expecting it, it was just still so surreal to really witness it, well, at least over the television.”
Tony Sharpe, De Grasse’s coach, said the runner is the most talented one he has seen in 50 years — and it’s not just his athletic ability that adds to that distinction.
“Andre is the ultimate role model: Kind, respectful and all the things we look for in a young man,” he said.
“He’s just a good person and that’s the thing that inspires me.”
De Grasse’s victory comes 25 years plus a week after Donovan Bailey raced to 100-metre gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
— with files from Nick Westoll, the Canadian Press and Reuters