On a finals-packed morning in Tokyo, the men’s 4x100m final was (predictably) full of drama, with Team Italy winning its first-ever gold in the event and first Olympic medal of any colour since 1948. The Italians came across the line in a national record time, with anchor Filippo Tortu just edging out Team Great Britain at the line, finishing in 37.50. Meanwhile, Andre De Grasse, fresh off his gold medal in the 200m two days ago, made up several metres in the anchor leg to secure bronze in 37.70, a season’s best for the team.
Heavy medals! Canada's 4×100-metre relay team, by the numbers:
–@De6rasse won 3 medals in Tokyo, and owns 6 all-time.
-This was @KingsleySC and @RodneyGetEm's 2nd Olympic medal.@JeromeBlake11 wins his 1st Olympic medal.#ExperienceGreatness #Athletics #TeamCanada pic.twitter.com/bO3N99iBJH
— Athletics Canada (@AthleticsCanada) August 6, 2021
Great Britain’s loss, by just 0.01 seconds, made Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who ran the second leg, a double gold medallist after his out-of-nowhere victory in the 100m. At least the team could take solace in Laura Muir’s heroic silver-medal performance in the women’s 1,500 just a few minutes earlier.
Unlike the situation in Rio, however, Canada didn’t have to wait for another team to be disqualified before claiming bronze. Aaron Brown ran the first leg, and there was some awkwardness in the handoff to Jerome Blake, which cost them some time. Blake handed off to Brendon Rodney, and finally it was De Grasse’s job to get the team a medal, the Canadians coming into the anchor leg in fifth position behind China and Jamaica. De Grasse made up around seven metres on the field to secure the bronze.
This was De Grasse’s third medal of the Games, and his sixth Olympic medal in total. Brown and Rodney were both part of the team that won bronze in Rio, but it’s a first for Blake. This bronze medal for De Grasse cements him in Canadian history books as the most decorated male athlete at the Olympics for Team Canada.