LIKE THE WIND
De Grasse wins 100 in stunning ( but wind-aided) 9.69: ‘I’m just looking forward to running that fast legally’
STOCKHOLM— A stiff breeze may have kept sprint star Andre De Grasse from a Canadian record.
But with his blistering victory in the 100 metres at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm on Sunday, the 22-year-old from Markham, Ont., served notice that the national mark isn’t long for the books.
De Grasse crossed in 9.69 seconds, one of the fastest wind-aided times in history, and what would have been a Canadian record and a personal best. The wind reading was an illegal 4.8 metres per second. Anything above 2.0 is considered wind-aided.
“It was a shock to me when I saw the time on the board,” De Grasse said on the IAAF website. “I just wanted to run sub-10 and I didn’t feel in the shape to run that fast.
“I’m really happy about it, it’s a good start to the season. I’m just looking forward to running that fast legally.”
The Canadian record is 9.84, held by both Donovan Bailey (1996 Olympics) and Bruny Surin (1999 world championships). De Grasse’s fastest legal time is the 9.91 he ran to earn bronze at the 2016 Olympics.
Using a wind adjustment calculator, De Grasse’s time converts to 9.88 with zero wind, or 9.79 with a legal 2.0 wind.
The victory was the Canadian’s third in a row, coming three days after he won the 100 metres at the Oslo Diamond League meet. He won the 200 metres in Rome on June 8.
DeGrasse appears on pace for a strong summer that includes the world championships in London in early August, where he’ll race Usain Bolt one last time. Bolt is expected to retire after this summer.
“It’s been a successful series of races,” said his coach Stuart McMillan. “The objective was to be consistent — to learn from each race, and to improve race execution each time out. From this perspective, I feel he has done very well. His top end speed is starting to come, and I have no doubt that once we de-load, there will be much more to come.”
The Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite (9.84) and Jamaica’s Ryan Shields (9.89) finished second and third behind De Grasse.
Crystal Emmanuel of Toronto was second in the women’s 200 metres, missing gold by just 0.01, and the Canadian record by 0.07.
Emmanuel crossed in 22.69 to finish behind Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast. Germany’s Rebekka Haase was third in 22.76. Marita Payne-Wiggins, mother of NBA star Andrew Wiggins, holds the Canadian record of 22.62 set in 1983.
Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., was fourth in the women’s 800 metres in 1:59.70. Francine Niyonsaba won in 1:59.11, while Sweden’s Lovisa Lindh was second in 1:59.41, and Selina Buchel of Switzerland took third (1:59.66).
De Grasse felt the gusting wind, he said, as the runners lined up for the start.
“But when we went into the blocks and started racing, I didn’t really feel the wind,” he said. “That’s the fastest I’ve ever run, it’s going to be a shock to the body. (Monday) is going to hurt a little, but I’m just looking forward to the next race and see what I can do legally.”
De Grasse’s next meet is the Harry Jerome International Track Classic on June 28 in Coquitlam, B.C.
Canadian Olympian Andre De Grasse continued to pick up speed on the road to this summer’s world championships — and a final showdown with Usain Bolt — by blowing away the competition in Sunday’s Diamond League 100 metres in Stockholm.
Andre De Grasse poses with his eye-popping wind-aided clocking of 9.69 seconds at the Diamond League track and field meet in Stockholm on Sunday. The Markham, Ont., native has won three races in a row.