Mon, 20 Sep 2021 Today's Paper

De Grasse finally strikes gold on the big stage

4 August 2021 11:42 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shehan Daniel at the Olympics Stadium, Tokyo

Canada's Andre de Grasse set a new National Record claiming victory in the Men's 200m at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, today, claiming the first major world title of his career.

De Grasse was the first 200m champion since Usain Bolt, who won the event in the last three Olympics, having also won bronze in the 100m final.

Running out of lane six, de Grasse was behind heading into the final straight, but he powered past and held off the challenge of Americans Kenneth Bednarek and Noah Lyles, to clock a time of 19.62 seconds, shaving almost a tenth of a second off his previous personal best which he set during the semi-finals on Tuesday.

Bednarek finished with a personal best of 19.62, ahead of reigning World Champion Lyles, who clocked a season's best of 19.74.

The star of the day was however American Sydney McLaughlin who bested her rival, compatriot Dalilah Muhammed in the hotly anticipated Women's 400m Hurdles event, breaking her own World Record in the process.

McLaughlin stormed to victory in 51.46, while Muhammed also ran a personal best 51.58, which on another day would have been the new World Record.

In their incredible rivalry, both athletes have exchanged the World Record four times between them in a championship setting since 2019.

McLaughlin's previous best was the 51.90 she ran earlier this year, which broke the record held by Muhammed.

Netherlands' Femke Bol also ran in a record-breaking effort, setting a new European Record with a time of 52.03.

American Courtney Frerichs added another medal to her country's tally today, winning Silver in the Women's 3000m Steeplechase, with a season's best time of 9 minutes 04.79 seconds, but it was not good enough to beat Uganda's Peruth Chemutai, who clocked 9:01.45.

Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya was breathing down Frerichs' neck but had to settle for bronze, finishing in a time of 9:05.39.

Kenya meanwhile, took first and second in the Men’s 800m final, with Emmanuel Korir and Cheruiyot Rotich surging down the final stretch to claim the top two positions with times of 1:45.06 and 1:45.23 respectively.

Australian Peter Bol, the first from his country to make a 800m final since 1968, led for much of the race but was overtaken down the home straight and the Sudanese-born runner could not quite hold on for a medal.

Patryk Dobek of Poland was close behind in third, 17-tenths of a second behind Rotich.

Dobek was one of three track and field medalists for Poland with Wojciech Nowicki and Pawel Fajdek, claiming gold and bronze in the Men’s Hammer Throw, finishing either side of Eivind Henriksen of Norway.

There was heartbreak for the world’s number heptathlete Katrina Johnson-Thompson who pulled up with injury during the Heptathlon 200m Heats, ruling her out for the rest of the events.

Anouk Vetter of Netherlands leads the standings with 3968 points, 27 points ahead of Belguim’s Noor Vidts, with four disciplines completed.

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