Andre De Grasse served notice that he is on a mission, qualifying with the fastest time of the men’s 100-metre heats, winning his preliminary heat with a season’s best time of 9.91 seconds.
“I feel good – season’s best. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night. I’m ready to go,” said De Grasse. “I feel like people put pressure on me, but I enjoy it. I have fun with it. It makes me feel better that I’m one of the guys that can bring a medal home to Canada. I’m just enjoying the moment. It’s my second Olympic Games and I’m just grateful and blessed to be here.”
Bismark Boateng and Gavin Smellie both finished eighth in their respective 100-metre heats, failing to advance to the semifinals. Boateng clocked a time of 10.47 seconds, while Smellie finished in 10.44 seconds.
“My race went pretty well. I was a little hobbled, because I hurt my ankle the last competition before the Olympics. I have just been rehabbing and making sure that I’m healthy for the race,” said Boateng. “Today, I just wanted to run with my heart. My body wasn’t 100 percent, but my mind was and I really just wanted to run with my heart and put it all on the line.”
“It was a pretty bad stumble at the beginning, and at the Olympic Games you can’t do that,” said Smellie. “I gave it my all. Unfortunately, it wasn’t at all good enough. It’s a bittersweet moment. I came back for a second time, looking to do great things and came up short.”
On the women’s side, Khamica Bingham (11.22 seconds) and Crystal Emmanuel (11.21 seconds) placed fifth and sixth in their respective semifinals but did not advance to the finals.
“I had a great start and I was up there. I didn’t finish as great as I would like to but, at the end of the day, I crossed the line healthy. I had the support of Canada behind me, as well as my angels – my mom and Daundre Barnaby – and I’m just happy to have made it to this point,” said Bingham.
“I’m a little disappointed, but I made my first semifinal in the 100 metres at the Olympics, so I’m proud of myself,” said Emmanuel. “I came out and gave two good races. Now I have to get ready for the 200 metres. I’ve got to go back, reset and prepare for a whole different race. I’m trying to execute as many races as I can. First-round, I’ve got to give it all I’ve got and go step by step from there.”