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Canada's De Grasse upsets Noah Lyles for Olympic 200m gold

Canada's De Grasse upsets Noah Lyles for Olympic 200m gold
Posted at 6:51 AM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 11:59:43-04

After finishing runner-up to Usain Bolt in the Jamaican legend's final individual race at the 2016 Rio Games, Canadian Andre de Grasse replaced him Wednesday night in Tokyo atop that event podium as the newest men's Olympic 200m champion.

The 26-year-old, who won three medals in Rio, closed incredibly well off the turn to break his own national record in 19.62 and earn his second medal of the Games after capturing bronze in Sunday's 100m final in a personal-best 9.89.

De Grasse is now a five-time Olympic medalist, joining a select group — his first gold after three bronzes and a silver.

American Kenny Bednarek surged along with De Grasse, hanging close on his shoulder through the finish to capture silver in a personal-best 19.68.

They both overtook Noah Lyles, the event's reigning world champion, in the final 50 meters. Lyles persevered for bronze, while 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton was fourth in 19.93.

De Grasse had a bumpy leadup cycle to Tokyo but recalibrated within the last two years. He tore his right hamstring before the 2017 World Championships and spent most of 2018 rehabbing; dealt with a severe case of mononucleosis; then in fall 2018 changed his training base from Arizona to Florida to work with coach Rana Reider.

His girlfriend, reigning world 100m hurdles champion Nia Ali, also trains with Reider. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist didn't compete at U.S. Olympic Trials after giving birth to the couple's second child, a boy, in spring 2021. Their daughter, Yuri, was born in 2018. Ali also has a child from a previous relationship: Titus, born in May 2015.

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