De Grasse breezes to win in 9.69sec

Canada's Andre De Grasse wins the men's 100m ahead of Ivory Coast's Ben Youssef Meite in a wind-assisted 9.69sec at the IAAF Diamond League athletics competition in Stockholm on Sunday. The top five all went under than 10sec.
Canada's Andre De Grasse wins the men's 100m ahead of Ivory Coast's Ben Youssef Meite in a wind-assisted 9.69sec at the IAAF Diamond League athletics competition in Stockholm on Sunday. The top five all went under than 10sec.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

STOCKHOLM • Canada's Andre De Grasse was blown to an emphatic and remarkably swift 100m win in a wind-assisted 9.69 seconds at the Diamond League meet in Stockholm on Sunday.

De Grasse, who may offer the biggest threat to Usain Bolt in the Jamaican's final major meeting in August's World Championships, flew down the Olympic Stadium track to hammer the opposition in a race which saw five men dip under 10 seconds.

Although the Olympic 200m silver medallist's run was by far the fastest anywhere this year, he was aided by a 4.8m per sec (mps) following wind, more than twice the allowable limit, which ruled it out as a 2017 world-leading performance.

Nonetheless, De Grasse, who won the 100m in the Oslo Diamond League meet on Thursday, underlined the threat he could pose to Bolt in London with a victory by 0.15sec over Ivorian Ben Youssef Meite and 0.2sec ahead of Jamaican Ryan Shields.

"It was a shock to me when I saw the time on the board. I just wanted to run sub-10 and I didn't feel in the shape to run that fast," the 22-year-old said. "That's the fastest I've ever run. It's going to be a shock to the body. Tomorrow's going to hurt a little bit."

His time was equal to 9.88sec with no wind. Bolt's world record, set at the 2009 World Championships, is 9.58sec with a wind speed of 0.9mps.

"It gives me a lot of confidence running that fast because I didn't feel that fast," added De Grasse.

"I know when I actually start coming together and feeling good and getting ready to peak for the World Championships, I know it's going to be something special."

The wind was so strong that even the fifth finisher, Germany's Julian Reus, clocked 9.99sec.

It ensured that the Canadian record of 9.84sec, held jointly by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin, remained intact as did De Grasse's personal best of 9.91sec, set when he won 100m bronze at last year's Olympics in Rio.

Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot clocked a world-leading mark of 3min 30.77sec to win a high-quality 1,500m race.

The 21-year-old outpaced his rivals with 300m left, his kick leaving Bahraini Alsadik Mikhou, previously the fastest in 2017, well adrift in second (3:31.49) and an out-of-sorts Asbel Kiprop, Kenya's triple world champion, way off the pace in fourth (3:33.17).

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2017, with the headline 'De Grasse breezes to win in 9.69sec'. Print Edition | Subscribe