The second day of the World Championships in Beijing saw a lot of excitement for Canadian fans watching.
For fans of Andre De Grasse, the 100m semi-finals and finals were quite the events to watch for those cheering on the young sprinter. De Grasse came second in his heat in the semi-finals, behind Usain Bolt and advanced to the finals which happened Sunday morning for Canadians tuning in. He ran 9.96. Aaron Brown did not advance to the finals.
Two hours later, the sprinters lined up at the track for the finals– the last event of day two. De Grasse pulled off a blistering time of 9.92 in the finals and tied for third place with U.S. runner Trayvon Bromell. That’s also a PB for De Grasse. Bolt placed first with a time of 9.72, just slightly ahead of Justin Gatlin who ran 9.80.
“This was definitely my hardest race,” said Bolt who missed six weeks of action this year with pelvic joint pain. “I’ve been through a lot this season and Justin’s been running great and showing up fast times. I’ve learned over the years that when Justin Gatlin comes to a championship, he always shows up. I knew that if I came here to win I’d have to run a great race.”
To add to the excitement over De Grasse’s medal and PB, this is Canada’s first medal in the 100m World Championships since Bruny Surin’s silver in 1999.
“I didn’t know you can actually tie with someone,” said De Grasse about his bronze medal. “I was waiting to see who they were going to give it to, Bromell or me, both of us got it, I’m really happy for him. I’m proud to come away with a personal best, to race against these guys and make the final.”
De Grasse was assigned to be on the outer lane, something which some runners might find off putting.”Running in lane nine wasn’t going to distract me, all the lanes are 100-metres. It was the biggest race of my life, wasn’t going to think about lane assignment,” said the sprinter.
Watch De Grasse’s race below.
— Perdita Felicien (@perditafelicien) August 23, 2015
De Grasse wasn’t the only Canadian with a race to be proud of. The 20K race walk went ahead with three Canadians competing. Benjamin Thorne pulled a fast one finishing the event in a time of 1:19:57 bringing home a bronze medal for Canada. This is also a new Canadian record which gives the Canadian team much to celebrate today. Team mate Evan Dunfee placed 12th and Inaki Gomez placed 14th.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton was another Canadian to watch on day two. She also won a medal for Canada on day two. Theisen-Eaton ran the 800m in the women’s heptathlon running 2:11:52 and scoring 942 points. It was the last event of the women’s heptathlon and enough to push her to second place. Overall, Theisen-Eaton scored 6554 points. The winner, Jessica Ennis-Hill won her second heptathlon title with a score of 6669. This sis something she accomplished just over a year after giving birth. For Theisen-Eaton, this is the second consecutive World Championships silver.