Injured de Grasse pulls out of Worlds
Andre de Grasse, a triple Olympic sprint medallist, has pulled out of the World Athletics Championships in London with injury, boosting Usain Bolt's chances of a golden swansong.
The Canadian was expected to be Bolt's main rival for his 100m crown in the Jamaican's farewell championship, but he suffered a hamstring strain in training on Monday and will miss the rest of the season.
"The entire year, this 100m race in London was my focus. I am really in the best shape of my life and was looking forward to competing against the best in the world," 22-year-old De Grasse said in a statement.
"To not have this opportunity is unimaginable to me, but it is the reality I am now faced with. I am sad to miss this chance, but I am young and, with treatment and rehabilitation, I will be back and better than ever in the near future."
De Grasse, who won the Olympic 200m silver and bronzes in the 100m and 4x100m relay, had been due to line up in the 100m heats on the Championships' opening day today as the first part of another triple medal bid.
He had recorded the fastest time of the year, albeit wind-assisted, of 9.69sec in Stockholm in June and had been shaping up as the man most likely to spoil the script in Bolt's swansong event.
De Grasse first came on Bolt's radar last year at the Rio Games when the confident Canadian pushed him hard in the 200m semi-finals.
De Grasse's absence from the 100m unquestionably boosts Bolt's chances of ensuring he adds an eighth individual World Championship gold to his incredible tally in his final solo race tomorrow. - REUTERS