De Grasse Relives Bolt 'Bromance' Ahead Of Tokyo Olympics

REUTERS

Evoking Usain Bolt's name while praising another sprinter will invariably raise a few eyebrows, but in the case of Andre De Grasse there's photographic evidence to back up the comparisons.

Bursting onto the scene five years ago during his first outing at an Olympic Games, the then 21-year-old did the unthinkable by catching up to the world's fastest man as he approached the finish line in the 200m semi-final.

Although Bolt finished the race with a nose in front, the photo finish forced him and the world of athletics to sit up and take notice of the Canadian upstart.

 

"Those pictures with me and him, I didn’t expect that to happen," says De Grasse. 

"That was really just me going out there having fun, and just trying to do my best. We all cherish those memories, cherish those moments.

"When I looked up and I was running - and I ran a good, hard 150 - I looked to my side and I was like: “OK, he's starting to slow down, and I'm close to him.”

"I'm like: “OK, now maybe I can conserve some energy myself and get ready.” And then when he looked at me, I looked at him. It just kind of happened in the moment. I couldn't even tell you exactly what happened, it was just like we were just out there having fun."

De Grasse and Bolt would meet again the following day in the final with each scooping a medal, along with the United States' Justin Gatlin.

 

While De Grasse was unable to take home gold from Rio, like his Jamaican counterpart he managed to make the podium for each of the three events he competed for: 100m, 200, and 4x100m relay. 

With his focus fixed on competing, De Grasse was unaware of the impression he was making on the world of athletics: "When I came home and I saw the messages that we were having a bromance, it was funny because it wasn't really even like that. 

"I raced him the previous year in the World Championship but I never really talked to him. And then that was kind of my first time really talking to him at the Olympics. And he was just congratulating me, he's like: “Good job, man. You're so young, you have a lot to more to go.”

Having scooped the 200m silver and the 100m bronze in Brazil, De Grasse is a strong contender to claim more hardware in both individual events in Tokyo.

The Ontario native impressed again at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, clinching silver and bronze medals in the 200m and 100m events, respectively.

De Grasse arrives in Tokyo with his status as one of Canada's all-time athletic greats secure having won three medals after just one Olympic appearance.

But with Bolt out of the equation this time around, his sights will be set on joining Donovan Bailey as just the second Canadian ever to claim gold in an individual sprint event at the Games.

 


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