Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

There were people who believed that 2017 was the year – specifically the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships – that Andre De Grasse would pass Usain Bolt as the world’s fastest man.

There was likely little chance that it would have happened head-to-head, Bolt has rarely ever been pushed in a race and certainly an athlete that has moved as fast as 9.58 was not going to be beaten, even at the tail end of his career. De Grasse may be the next one, but he will have to wait until Bolt retires.

Sadly though, Canada misses out on at least two sure-win medals and maybe three as Andre De Grasse announced today he will not compete at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, set to begin Friday in London, England. De Grasse suffered a hamstring tear on Monday during training. A second opinion on Wednesday confirmed the diagnosis which led to the difficult decision to pull out of the championships.

“The entire year this 100m race in London was my focus. I am really in the best shape of my life and was looking forward to competing against the best in the world. To not have this opportunity is unimaginable to me but it is the reality I am faced with. I am sad to miss this chance but I am young and will be back and better than ever in the near future.”

Glenroy Gilbert, Athletics Canada Head Coach, “I really feel for Andre, I know he really wanted to make a mark here at the World Championships. Injuries are part of the sport, obviously, the timing is terrible. As a team the focus doesn’t change, we need to be ready to compete starting Friday. We’ve been talking about the depth of the program, now is a chance for some of our other stars to shine, and have some of our up and coming athletes step up.”

Andre De Grasse won bronze at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in the 100-metres, and was part of the bronze medal winning 4×100-metres relay team. At the 2016 Olympic Games De Grasse won bronze in the 100-metres, silver in the 200-metres and bronze in the 4×100-metres relay.