Canadian sprints to gold
De Grasse wins the 100-metre final, caps solid day for the host country at the track
Canadian sprint phenom Andre De Grasse capped another big day for Canada’s track and field team with a victory in the men’s 100 metres Wednesday at the Pan American Games.
The 20-year-old from Markham, Ont., crossed in 10.05 seconds, narrowly beating Ramon Gittens Barbados, who finished in 10.07.
“Somehow, I just managed to pull off the win,” De Grasse said. “I had no pressure, my family and friends told me that no matter what happens, they are still proud of me. It has been a long season, and to do this, it is a wonderful feeling right now.”
Earlier in the night, Canada’s Melissa Bishop won gold in the women’s 800 metres. The 26year-old from Eganville, Ont., ran to victory in one minute 59.62 seconds.
“I knew the crowd was going to be loud no matter what, so I was just trying to put myself in a good position to be able to run in and let the crowd do its work, and let the training come through,” Bishop said. “I’m really happy it worked out. It’s so nice to win a gold medal at home.”
Toronto’s Sarah Wells added a silver in the women’s 400 hurdles.
Canada has 13 medals in athletics through two full days of competition and leads all countries with seven gold.
De Grasse, who is coming off a remarkable performance that saw him win both the 100 and 200 at the NCAA championships, stepped up to the blocks to a huge roar from the packed 9,300-seat stadium at York University.
Also Wednesday, Canadian decathlete Damian Warner is on pace to break Michael Smith’s Canadian record that has stood for 19 years.
The 25-year-old from London, Ont., takes a personal best score of 4460 into Thursday’s Day 1.
The world championship bronze medallist opened with personal bests of 10.28 seconds in the 100 metres and 7.68 metres in the long jump.
He threw 14.36 in the shot put, the event that derailed his performance in May at the prestigious Hypo Meeting when he faulted on all three of his throws.
He then cleared 1.97 metres in the high jump — his best is 2.07 — and capped the night by winning the 400 metres in 47.66 seconds.
AP PHOTO Canada’s Andre De Grasse hold a flag after he won the gold medal in the men’s 100-metre final during the athletics competition at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Wednesday.