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De Grasse fails to qualify, but Brown in 100-metre final at world track championships

EUGENE, Ore. — For the first time in Andre De Grasse's coveted racing career the Canadian sprinter won't be making a podium appearance.

Coming off a foot injury, down time and two separate bouts of COVID-19, De Grasse was unable to match the speed in his heat or the top eight to advance to the men's 100-metre finals at the world track and field championships at Hayward Field.

The 27-year-old native of Scarborough, Ont., clocked a 10.21 in his Saturday semifinal heat, well behind top-ranked Americans Fred Kerley (10.02) and Christian Coleman (10.05), who ran just fast enough to advance. Also finishing ahead of De Grasse were Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain (10.13) and Ackeem Blake of Jamaica (10.21).

Aaron Brown of Toronto, who clocked a 10.06 to finish third in the third heat, managed to make the final as a top eight qualifier. Oblique Seville of Jamaica (9.90) and Marvin Bracy of the U.S. (9.93) topped the third heat and automatically qualified with the other top two finishers in each heat.

The first heat was won by South African Akani Simbine in 9.97, who beat American Trayvon Bromell with the same time.

De Grasse told reporters after the semifinals that he had hoped to "at least make the final," but admitted he wasn't in top racing form.

"Guys are running fast right now and I didn't have enough in the tank today (to keep up). … I wasn't 100 per cent coming into the race but I wanted to give it my best shot."

He was undecided about competing in the men's 200 metres, citing energy levels as a concern he and his coaches are keeping close tabs on.

In Saturday's 100-metre final, Brown finished eighth in 10.07 as the podium was swept by American racers. Kerley won gold in 9.86, followed by Bracy (9.88) and Bromell (9.88).

Canadian Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., missed the world podium by the slimmest of margins Saturday night, finishing fourth in the women's shot put with a throw of 19.77 metres, which was well short of season's-best 20.33 metres.

American Chase Ealey won gold with a throw of 20.49 metres, followed by Lijiao Gong of China (20.39) and Jessica Schilder of the Netherlands, who posted a 19.77 but edged out Mitton for the bronze.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2022

The Canadian Press

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