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Andre De Grasse wins heat to advance to 100m semi-final

After two false starts by athletes on the track, De Grasse ran a season's best 9.91 in heat 5

In a tense, dramatic preliminary round of the men’s 100m, Canada’s Andre De Grasse came out victorious in heat 5 with a season’s best 9.91 seconds to advance to the semi-final round. Running in lane nine, his time was the fastest of the night, making him the favourite coming out of the qualifying rounds.

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Heat five of the first round of the men’s 100m took three tries before the race finally got off to a clean start. The first false start created some confusion, and after a couple of minutes of deliberation, none of the athletes were disqualified. On the second try, it was Nigeria’s Divine Oduru who jumped the gun and was sent off the track. Finally, the third round went out clean, and it was De Grasse who came out of the furthest lane to run the fastest time of the night across all heats. His performance makes him the favourite going into the semi-final, which will take place on Sunday night local time (Sunday morning at 6:15 a.m. ET).

Canadians Gavin Smellie and Bismark Boateng both finished 8th in their heats, running 10.44 and 10.47 respectively, which was not enough to advance to the semi-finals.

Women’s 100m semi-finals

The proceedings began with the news that Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, who had qualified automatically for the final, had been sent home after testing positive for human growth hormone. Jamaica’s Shelley-Ann Fraser-Price was leading the way at the conclusion of the women’s 100m semi-finals, and is the favourite to take the gold medal after running 10.73 seconds for the win. Her fellow Jamaican teammate Elaine Thompson-Herah is behind her in second with 10.76, followed by Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast in 10.79. Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel and Khamica Bingham finished 16th and 18th overall, running 11.21 and 11.22, respectively, but will not advance to the final. With the top six women all running under 11 seconds, the final will be one of the most competitive women’s 100m races in Olympic history.

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