Tokyo Olympics: Andre de Grasse claims 200m gold

Tokyo Olympics: Andre de Grasse claims 200m gold

Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Canada’s Andre de Grasse won his first gold and fifth Olympic medal overall as he overhauled world champion Noah Lyles in the final 50m of the 200m final.

The 26-year-old, who took bronze in the 100m final on Sunday, won in 19.62 seconds, making him the eighth-fastest man in history.

Lyles led into the final quarter but slowed as De Grasse and second-placed Kenny Bednarek ran him down.

Seventeen-year-old Erriyon Knighton finished fourth in 19.93 seconds.

The American teenager broke Rio 2016 champion Usain Bolt’s world junior record for the event in May and may well be its future, but it was De Grasse, himself once the next big thing, who finally lived up to his billing as Bolt’s heir apparent.

De Grasse had set a personal best 19.73 seconds in Tuesday’s semi-finals and looked relaxed as he strode to the blocks.

In contrast to his smiling and clowning, Lyles struck a serious figure, bellowing into the Tokyo skies as he emerged into the arena.

It was Lyles who led off the bend, but his lead was slowly chewed up as De Grasse and Bednarek – side-by-side in lanes six and seven – came on strong.

De Grasse (wearing six) and Bednarek (obscured) overhaul Lyles (three) in the final stages of the 200m final
De Grasse (wearing six) and Bednarek (obscured) overhaul Lyles (three) in the final stages of the 200m final

De Grasse celebrated with a video call to his partner, American hurdler Nia Ali, at the finish line, seeming to exclaim “finally” during their conversation.

De Grasse has been pegged as a potential successor to Bolt since he finished third behind the Jamaican in the 100m final at the 2015 World Championships aged just 20.

He signed a lucrative deal with the same footwear sponsor as Bolt a few months later. However, hamstring problems stalled his progress before he returned to form with silver and bronze medals at Doha 2019.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment, I’ve been training hard for this moment,” said De Grasse.

“Nineteen point six – I cannot believe the time. And almost 19.5, I’m almost there.”

Korir keeps up Kenyan tradition

Emmanuel Korir
Korir’s title was the fourth successive Olympic success in the men’s 800m for Kenya

Emmanuel Korir led home countryman Ferguson Rotich to complete a Kenyan one-two in the 800m final.

Korir, who finished sixth in the 400m final at Doha 2019, showed his finishing speed as he made a decisive break for home around the final bend and came home in 1:45.06.

Rotich, the fastest into the final, could not reel in his compatriot and had to settle for silver ahead of Poland’s Patryk Dobek.

American world champion Donavan Brazier was absent after failing to qualify from the American trials while Botswana’s Nijel Amos, the fastest man in the world this year, was well back in seventh.

Kenya have won the men’s 800m at the last four Olympics with Wilfred Bungei’s success at Beijing followed by London and Rio titles for the great David Rudisha, who is still only 32, but has not raced since 2017 after a series of injuries.

Chemutai pounces as Chepkoech struggles

Uganda's Peruth Chemutai, 22, kicked on from her fifth-place finish at Doha 2019 to win gold
Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai, 22, kicked on from her fifth-place finish at Doha 2019 to win gold

Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai took the 3,000m steeplechase gold as Kenyan world champion and world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech finished seventh.

Chepkoech had complained after Sunday’s heats that she was suffering with an injury.

American record-holder Courtney Frerichs was run down on the final lap after a brave break, but took silver ahead of Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng in third.

Great Britain’s Lizzie Bird, the first British woman to make an Olympic final in the event since its introduction into the programme in 2008, finished ninth in a new British record of 9:19.68.

Wojciech Nowicki of Poland, a bronze medallist in Rio and the past three World Championships, finally tasted gold as he took the hammer competition with a best of 82.52m

His countryman Pawel Fajdek suffered Olympic disappointment once again.

The 32-year-old has won the past four world titles and owns four of the five furthest throws this season.

But, after failing to register a mark at London and missing out on the final in Rio, he could only take bronze in Tokyo, with his throw of 81.53m also beaten by Norway’s Eivind Henriksen.

Nick Miller’s 78.15m was the best hammer performance by a Briton in the history of the Olympics in sixth.

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