Andre De Grasse will open his season on Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark., at the American Track League’s first meet of 2021. This will be the biggest event De Grasse has competed in since the 2019 world championships in Doha, where he ran to silver and bronze medals in the 100m and 200m. He is set to race the 60m at Sunday’s meet — the first of four, which will all be held in Arkansas on four straight weekends.
Kicking off 2021
Sunday’s meet will mark the start of De Grasse’s build toward the Tokyo Games. He won three medals (two bronze, one silver) in his debut Olympics in Rio in 2016, and after his podium finishes at the world championships in 2019, he will be looking to continue his success this summer. De Grasse owns a 60m PB of 6.60 seconds, which puts him in a tie for 14th all-time in the Canadian rankings. While he is probably only focused on getting the year started with a win, De Grasse likely knows that the 60m time to beat is 6.45 seconds, the Canadian record set by Bruny Surin in 1993.
De Grasse will have some competition in Arkansas, with Great Britain’s Adam Gemili, American Trayvon Bromell and Jamaica’s Omar McLeod all set to race the 60m as well. In the women’s 60m race, 2019 U.S. 100m champion Teahna Daniels is favoured to take the win.
The American Track League
The ATL is part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour. In addition to the four ATL meets, the WA Indoor Tour features events all over the globe, including Germany, Spain, France and more. While Sunday’s ATL meet only features sprinting events (the longest race is the women’s 400m), there are longer runs set for the other meets. With 800m, 1,000m and mile races set for both men and women in the coming weeks, the ATL will provide North American-based athletes with a great opportunity to start their seasons and get dialled in ahead of the Olympics.
How to watch
Unfortunately, it looks like the only way to watch this meet is on ESPN, as the network struck a deal with the ATL for the four-meet series. If you have ESPN, the meet starts at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, with the 60m races slated to be run first.