Athletics

Andre de Grasse's gold extends US sprint drought

Canadian sprinter Andre de Grasse said he had "shocked the world" after storming to victory in the Tokyo 2020 men's 200 metres final yesterday, as the United States' 17-year sprinting gold medal drought continued.

De Grasse completed a long road back from injury and illness to win gold in 19.62sec, with three Americans behind him.

Kenneth Bednarek took silver in 19.68sec, world 200m champion Noah Lyles won the bronze in 19.74sec, and Erriyon Knighton, 17, finished just outside the medals in fourth in 19.93sec.

De Grasse's victory came five years after he announced his arrival with a silver medal in the 200m behind Usain Bolt at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

"I want everyone to know that I shocked the world," said de Grasse, who also took silver in the 200m behind Lyles at the 2019 world championships.

De Grasse's 200m victory in Tokyo and the 100m triumph of Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs mean that the US remains without a victory in the individual Olympic men's short sprints since 2004.

By the time of the next Olympics in Paris, it will be 20 years since Justin Gatlin and Shawn Crawford completed a 100-200 US double in Athens.

Lyles was strongly tipped to end that losing streak in Tokyo.

"I know everyone was saying that the Americans were going to win," de Grasse said.

"But this was my moment, I knew I had it in me, and I just wanted to come out here and get the job done."

In the men's 800m final, Kenya's Emmanuel Korir claimed gold in 1min 45.06sec, with compatriot Ferguson Rotich winning silver in 1:45.23. Poland's Patryk Dobek finished third in 1:45.39. - AFP, REUTERS

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