Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Canada’s Andre De Grasse leads midway through his round one 100m heat at Olympic Stadium on Saturday night. DeGrasse advanced to the 100m semi-final on Sunday night at the Tokyo Olympics.

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Though he is the defending bronze medalist in the Olympics’ most glamorous event, Andre De Grasse had de-emphasized the 100-metre sprint this year.

Instead, he’d focused his training on the 200-m – an event in which he has a better on-paper chance for gold.

At least, that was the thinking until Saturday night.

Story continues below advertisement

In his first qualifying heat of the 100-m, De Grasse posted a time of 9.91 seconds – best in field.

It’s De Grasse’s top time of the year, and just one one-hundredth of a second off his personal best.

“I didn’t expect to go that fast,” De Grasse said afterward, standing around in bare feet, carrying his shoes. “I wanted to just relax for the first round.”

It was a nervy beginning in the not-quite-empty Olympic Stadium. There are no spectators, but there are a few hundred random people scattered about – journalists, officials, hangers-on with a credential. They make a surprising amount of noise.

That may have been to blame for a couple of false starts in De Grasse’s heat. But once they got under way, he seemed to have no trouble.

Reminiscent of some of his outings at the Rio Games in 2016, he swivelled his head near the finish line to appraise the rest of the field. When he saw he was alone out in front, he slowed up with a couple of strides to go.

De Grasse was a medal hopeful in the 100-m a couple of hours before the heat. Now he has to be a medal favourite.

Story continues below advertisement

Assuming nothing goes amiss in the semis on Sunday, he’ll race the final at 8:50 a.m. ET.

“My coach always told me I’m better than my personal best,” De Grasse said. “He says that you’re ready to go fast. If you get that first part of the race, you can win it.”

Sign up for The Globe’s Olympic newsletter and follow all of the news, features and opinion in the Summer Games in Tokyo.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies