Loss of injured De Grasse a big blow to track and field fans

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - LORI EWING

LON­DON — An­dre De Grasse’s coach says the star sprinter’s with­drawal from the world track and field cham­pi­onships isn’t only a per­sonal blow for De Grasse, but for Cana­dian fans, too.

The 22-year-old from Markham, Ont., was to race Ja­maican star Usain Bolt one last time in the world 100 me­tres and was a solid shot to cap­ture gold in the 200 me­tres.

Coach Stu­art McMil­lan says when De Grasse sees the sprint­ers lin­ing up for the fi­nal “it’s re­ally go­ing to hit home” that he’s not there.

The 100 me­tre heats are sched­uled for Friday night, and the fi­nal on Saturday.

De Grasse suf­fered a Grade 2 tear of his ham­string in a train­ing ses­sion on Mon­day night.

He flew to Mu­nich to meet with Dr. Muller Wolfhart, who made the fi­nal di­ag­no­sis.

The re­cov­ery is ex­pected to take five to six weeks.

There had been plenty of hype around Bolt ver­sus De Grasse at the world cham­pi­onships, which McMil­lan said has been wear­ing on the young Cana­dian sprinter.

“(But) in ret­ro­spect in a few weeks, when he looks back on this, this was his last op­por­tu­nity to beat Bolt, I think that’s probably go­ing to be the thing that haunts him the most,” McMil­lan said.

The loss of De Grasse is a big blow to Canada’s 4x100-me­tre re­lay team, which cap­tured a bronze medal at last sum­mer’s Olympics in Rio.

CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

An­dre De Grasse suf­fered a Grade 2 tear of his ham­string in train­ing.

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