How Andre De Grasse recovered from last-place start to medal in 100m Olympic final

Aug 1 2021, 2:03 pm

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse’s performance in the men’s 100m final of the Tokyo Olympics perfectly captured one of the most basic lessons any athlete will learn:Ā never give up.

De Grasse’s reaction time of 0.155 was fourth out of seven in the field, but he was dead last by the 25-metre mark.

By the 50-metre mark, De Grasse had caught up to only Chinaā€™s Su Bingtian, but remained noticeably behind four other competitors.

Around the 60-metre mark, Enoch Adegoke of Nigeria pulled up short with an injury.

By the 75-metre mark, eventual gold and silver medallists in Italy’s Lamont Marcell JacobsĀ  and the USA’s Fred Kerley were sitting 1-2, with four other competitors battling it out for the final podium spot.

As long as Jacobs and Kerley held steady, it was either going to be Bingtian, American Ronnie Baker, South Africaā€™sĀ Akani Simbine, or De Grasse for the bronze medal.Ā 

And it was that little extra push from De Grasse in the final quarter of the race that gave him his fourth career Olympic medal, and second consecutive bronze in the 100m event. De Grasse hit a 42.7 kilometres per hour top speed at his peak, the second fastest in the field.

“For me, I knew it was going to be a tough one,” De Grasse told CBC after the event. “I knew I just had to come out there and try to execute as best as I can. I ran a personal best… I’m really grateful for that. I feel like every year I’m getting better.”

The full race video is below:

A pair of animated visuals, from the New York Times and CBC (via Olympic Broadcasting Services) help show exactly how De Grasse overcame the rough start in the 100m final.

De Grasse will also be competing for Canada in the 200m and as part of the 4×100 relay team. The heats for the 200m begin Monday night at 10:05 pm ET/7:05 PT.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

+ Offside
+ Olympics