Olympic countdown: Andre de Grasse, eyeing Bolt’s crown and legacy (Profile)
Sports News, Tokyo Olympics, Usain Bolt, Andre de Grasse
New Delhi : As the question of who will fill in Usain Bolt’s ample shoes at the Tokyo Olympics rises with the Games a few days away, an incident from Rio comes to mind.During the 2016 Rio Olympics, there was a picture from the 200m men’s semi-final which gave birth to many memes on the internet. Bolt, Jamaica’s reigning champion, flashed a big smile towards Canada’s Andre de Grasse as he overtook him.But what happened next was unexpected. Bolt slowed down a bit to turn and look over his shoulder and grinned at de Grasse. Bolt and de Grasse were seen smiling at each other from that point till the finish line and well after crossing it. The Jamaican ran 19.78s, with De Grasse just 0.02 seconds behind. The mutual bromance was there for all to see, blowing up the internet.Five years have passed since the bromance. At the Tokyo Olympics, Bolt will not be there, but de Grasse will be. The sprinter from Ontario has been one of the consistent performers on the circuit.
De Grasse came third to Bolt in the 100m at Rio.In his maiden Olympics, de Grasse became the only Canadian sprinter to win three medals in a single edition of the Games. Apart from his bronze in 100m, he took a silver in 200m and a bronze in 4x100m relay. From being a high school basketball player to now shouldering the hopes of Canada in athletics, de Grasse has travelled a long way.Now with Bolt out of the picture, the 26-year-old has a golden chance of becoming Canada’s first Olympics champion in 100m since Donovan Bailey in Atlanta 1996. After struggling with hamstring injuries in 2017 and 2018, de Grasse won the bronze medal with 9.90s, also his personal best, at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, beating Justin Gatlin and Yohan Blake. This season, de Grasse has run over 10 seconds four times in seven races with a season-best of 9.99s coming in Florida in April.”The main thing for me is staying injury-free. If I can stay injury-free and get to the starting line, I know I can accomplish big things,” de Grasse said to USA Today Sports.With Bolt not in sight, de Grasse can look to go higher on the podium.