Andre De Grasse celebrates with the Canadian national flag after winning the men's 200m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
Sprint star Andre De Grasse has set a new national record and personal best to win the 200m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A clean start saw De Grasse complete an impressive first 100 metres. Then as he completed the first half of the straight the Canadian athlete started to reel in the leader and World Champion Noah Lyles.
After a blistering final quarter to his race, De Grasse blazed past the reigning World Champion and held off Lyle’s fast finishing American compatriot Kenneth Bednarek to win his first gold medal.
The Tokyo 200m title will come as the 26-year-old’s fifth Olympic medal despite the fact it is his sole gold.
So close but so far
Throughout Andre De Grasse’s successful career the Canadian athlete has come up just short of the ultimate prize many times.
During both the 2019 World Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympics De Grasse had to settle for the Silver Medal in the 200m.
In the 100m he took the bronze medal in the 2015 and 2019 World Championships. He also has two Olympic bronzes in the same event, one from the 2016 games and another that he grabbed last Sunday in Tokyo.
But this was his moment. In the 200m final the man from Markham, Ontario was not going to come up short.
The man behind the medals
Born to parents from Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas, De Grasse’s mother was also a sprinter in her youth.
Despite this lineage, his first sport was not athletics but basketball. But later, during high school, he was introduced to the world of track and quickly found success.
Upon leaving school De Grasse headed south of the border, initially attending Coffeyville Community College in Kansas before transferring to the prestigious University of Southern California.
After establishing his professional athletic career with success on the track in the American collegiate system, De Grasse graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 2017.
His partner is fellow Olympic medallist Nia Ali, who won a silver medal in the 110m hurdles at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The pair have two children together.
Although he left basketball to pursue success on the track, De Grasse still enjoys playing the sport. The Ontario native is a big fan of his local team, the Toronto Raptors.
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