Canada’s Andre De Grasse won the men’s 200m final in the Tokyo Olympic Games improving upon his own national record with a 19.62 performance.
He started fast, but not first, hit the bend hard, but so had American Noah Lyles and fellow Canadian Aaron Brown, there seemed to be a three-man race until late when no one could answer De Grasse’s acceleration through the final 20m.
“I’m just proud – proud of this moment. I want everybody to know: I shocked the world. That’s what I came here to do. This is my moment. I knew I had it in me and I just wanted to come out here and get the job done,” said De Grasse. “Coming into my second Games, I knew I was ready. I was prepared for this. I trained an extra year for this, and I knew I was ready,” said De Grasse.
It is his first gold medal and fifth total between the 2016 Rio Olympics and Tokyo. He has one more event, the 4 x 100m Relay to make it six. It is also the first 200m gold for Canada since Percy Williams in 1928.
The 19.62 performance is the 18th fastest time run in history, but nine of the faster performances were run by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. Three are by fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, while the rest are by Americans Michael Johnston, Tyson Gay, Walter Dix, Justin Gatlin, and Noah Lyles. De Grasse is now the eighth-fastest 200m runner in history.
Kenneth Bednarek finished second in the time of 19.68, while Lyles clocked a 19.73 for bronze.
American Erriyon Knight, at age 17, appears to be the future of sprinting and the heir apparent to Usain Bolt, who also ran world-class times as a teenager. Although he finished fourth, he does own a personal best of 19.84 during the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR. That performance is a World U18 and U20 record.
For De Grasse, he is one of the all-time greatest Canadian sprinters. He was the only athlete to double in the 100m and 200m in Tokyo and will now go for a medal in the 4 x 100m Relay.