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De Grasse sets 200m Canadian record in Tokyo semi-finals

Four Canadians qualified through to the finals in their events in Tokyo

On the evening of Day 5 of the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympic Games, Canada’s Andre De Grasse reminded the world he is a serious medal threat in the semi-finals of the men’s 200m. Running out of lane 9, the 100m bronze medallist in these Games smashed his personal best (and former national record of 19.80), running 19.73 to win his heat and set a new Canadian national record. He and teammate Aaron Brown will both move on to the final.

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Running out of lane 9, De Grasse was several strides behind U.S. sprinter Kenneth Bednarek coming off the bend, but accelerated brilliantly to pass the American in the final 50 metres for the win, running the fastest time of the night.

In the second heat of the men’s 200m semi-finals, Brown exploded out of the blocks, leading the race around the turn. U.S. sprinter Noah Lyles began passing Brown in the last 100 metres, but Brown managed to fend him off, with Lyles, Brown and Liberia’s Joseph Fahnbulleh all crossed the line in 19.99 – a season’s best for Brown, who officially won the heat, followed by Fahnbulleh and Lyles. Brown and De Grasse will both advance to the final, which will take place on Wednesday evening in Tokyo, Wednesday morning at 8:55 a.m. ET in Canada.

Men’s 5,000m

The first heat of the men’s 5,000m saw Canada’s Luc Bruchet and Mohammed Ahmed toe the line in a talented field of runners. Attempting to save their energy for the next round, the race went out very conservatively for the first 3.5 kilometres, with Ahmed taking the lead after 1,500 metres. The group stayed tightly packed for the entire 12.5 laps, causing Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo to fall about halfway through. His countryman, Nicholas Kimeli, won the race in 13:38.87, with Ahmed was close behind him in 13:38.96 to qualify for the next round, followed by American Woody Kincaid in 13:39.04. Bruchet finished 13th in the heat in 13:44.08, and will not continue in the competition.

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In the second heat, Knight ran an incredibly smart race, sticking with the lead group and quietly moving up gradually throughout the race to get himself in a good position. He went with the leaders in the final lap and pushed to the line for third place in 13:30.22, behind Spain’s Mohammed Katir and the U.S.A.’s Paul ChelimoUganda’s Jacob Kiplimo and Joshua Cheptegei, who holds the world record in the 10,000m and 5,000m finished in fourth and fifth. The men’s 5,000m final will take place on Friday night in Tokyo, Friday morning at 8 a.m. ET in Canada.

For the full schedule and results, click here