OTTAWA – Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse was banking on a fast time in his final 100-metre race before next month’s world championships.The triple medallist from last summer’s Rio Olympics won his third consecutive 100 titles at the Canadian track and field championships on Friday, crossing in 10.11 seconds.
But in the moments after the victory, De Grasse admitted disappointment in his time — both for the Ottawa fans that squeezed into the grandstand at Terry Fox Stadium and because it was his final 100 before his showdown with Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt next month in London.“This is the last one, so that’s why I wanted to try to put down a time,” De Grasse said. “I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened. Ran the semis, felt pretty good, shut it down. And the finals. . . I don’t know what happened, I thought I was ready to run a fast time and a little disappointed I couldn’t give the crowd what they wanted.”
Brendon Rodney of Toronto was second in 10.18, while Gavin Smellie of Brampton, Ont., crossed third in 10.23.
De Grasse, a 22-year-old from Markham, Ont., had cruised to an easy win in his semifinal earlier in the night, coasting across the line in 10.13 on a track still slick from a thunderstorm that rolled through the city.He had the crowd roaring before he even stepped into the blocks for the final. They cheered loudly when he ran down the straightaway in his warmup. The grinning De Grasse waved his arms to encourage the cheering.
“It was good, I needed that energy, I was definitely going to try to (have it) carry me to run a fast time, so I love when they do that,” De Grasse said of the crowd. “Again, I’m a little bit disappointed I couldn’t give them what they wanted.”Aaron Brown of Toronto, who boasts a personal best of 9.94, was disqualified for a false start in his semifinal but ran under protest with hopes of launching an appeal.