On another hot, humid morning in Tokyo, Canada’s Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown qualified through to the semi-finals in the men’s 200m and Kyra Constantine in the women’s 400m. De Grasse and Brown both placed in the top three in their heats to qualify automatically, and Constantine qualified through on time.
Kyra Constantine (@kyracons) just made her Olympic debut, finishing 5th in Heat 1 of the women's 400 metres, clocking in with a time of 51.69 seconds.#ExperienceGreatness #Athletics #TeamCanada pic.twitter.com/agoG7zWiF4
— Athletics Canada (@AthleticsCanada) August 3, 2021
Canada’s Kyra Constantine placed fourth in her heat during the preliminary rounds of the women’s 400m in 51.69 to qualify by time through to the semi-finals. Her teammate, Natassha McDonald, placed seventh in her heat in 53.54 and will not continue in the competition. American veteran Allyson Felix, running in her fifth Olympics, won the third heat in 50.84 to qualify through to the next round, the fourth-fastest time of the day.
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) August 3, 2021
De Grasse was the first Canadian on the track in heat 3, where he placed third in 20.56. Brown was up next in heat 5, where he ran a very strong race to win the heat in 20.38. 17-year-old American runner Erriyon Knighton, who went pro earlier this year, was the star of heat 4, easily taking the win in 20.55. Canada’s Brendon Rodney placed sixth in the final heat of the night in 20.60, which was not enough to put him through to the semi-finals.
The first heats of the men’s 1,500m happened the way track fans expected, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t exciting. There were many high-profile athletes on the start line, and all of them qualified through to the final, including Timothy Cheruiyot, Cole Hocker, 2016 gold medalist Matt Centrowitz, Stewart McSweyn and Jakob Ingebrigtsen. New Zealand’s Nick Willis, running in his fifth Olympics, qualified through on time.
The excitement happened in the second heat, when athletes began getting jostled and pushed around while running in a tight pack. Two athletes went down, including Poland’s national record-holder, Marcin Lewandowski, who got up and jogged to finish the race, and who was advanced to the finals by officials after determining the fall was not his fault. Qatar’s Abdirahman Hassan also fell in the final lap, but stepped off the track and was ineligible to be reinstated.
🇵🇱 Poland's strong medal hope Marcin Lewandowski falls in the second heat of the men's 1500m – expect some protests there…#TeamGB's Jake Wightman is safely through to the semi-finals 🙌#bbcolympics #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/onO3zPWyFY
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 3, 2021
Many track fans were disappointed they didn’t see the NCAA 1,500m record-holder, Jared Nuguse on the start line, who injured his thigh during training earlier this week and made the decision to withdraw from the race.