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Athletics: De Grasse of Canada wins the men's 200m gold in Tokyo

Canada's Andre De Grasse ended a long run of finishing with minor medals by winning the Olympic men's 200m gold medal with a scorching time of 19.62 seconds on Wednesday (Aug 4) to become the eighth-fastest man over the distance.

Athletics: De Grasse of Canada wins the men's 200m gold in Tokyo

Andre De Grasse of Canada celebrates after winning gold in the Tokyo Olympics men's 200m at the Olympic Stadium on Aug 4, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)

TOKYO: Canada's Andre De Grasse ended a long run of finishing with minor medals by winning the Olympic men's 200m gold medal with a scorching time of 19.62 seconds on Wednesday (Aug 4) to become the eighth-fastest man over the distance.

De Grasse, who claimed the 100m bronze and 200m silver at the 2016 Olympics and 2019 World Championships, finally fulfilled his potential under the clear night sky at the Olympic Stadium.

The 26-year-old Canadian became the first Olympic 200m champion since Jamaican Usain Bolt, who won gold at three consecutive Olympics from the 2008 Beijing Games before retiring in 2017.

Andre De Grasse of Canada crosses the line to win gold in the Tokyo Olympics men's 200m at the Olympic Stadium on Aug 4, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)​​​​​​​

For most of the race, however, it looked like De Grasse would again finish with any medal but gold.

He came into the turn third, but seemed to find a higher gear to surge past his American rivals in the last 40m and claim victory with a Canadian national record.

The last time the United States won this event was in 2004, when they swept the medals.

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Noah Lyles had established himself as the world's top 200m sprinter in 2018 by winning all of his races over the distance and posting a series of sub-19.7 times.

World champion Lyles, who came to Tokyo with a 2021 world-leading time of 19.74 seconds set in the US trials, appeared poised to end his country's long wait.

But Lyles was passed by his team-mate Kenny Bednarek, who took the silver medal with a time 19.68 seconds, and had to settle for bronze in 19.74 seconds.

Bednarek had arrived in Tokyo in red-hot form after his 19.78-second personal best at the US Olympic trials, and running in the lane next to De Grasse helped him through.

American Erriyon Knighton, 17, who has taken Bolt's under-20 world record, missed out on becoming the youngest medallist in a men's athletics event by finishing fourth.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network

Source: Reuters/kg

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