Andre De Grasse wins 60m in pro debut at Millrose Games
Canadian sprinter clocks 6.61 seconds, just shy of personal best
Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse made his professional debut at the Millrose Games in New York on Saturday and won the 60-metre dash in a time of 6.61 seconds.
China's Su Bingtian and Kimmari Roach of Jamaica rounded out the top three, clocking 6.62 and 6.63 respectively.
The world record still belongs to American Maurice Green who ran the distance in 6.39 in 2001.
De Grasse was just short of his personal best time of 6.60 achieved at Lincoln in 2015.
With his career just beginning, De Grasse has moved and changed coaches in recent months.
"Usually when you switch coaches it doesn't go well right way; it takes some time," he said, pleased with his performance to open the season.
"I'm really happy that I got my first win out of the way."
The 21-year-old from Markham, Ont., who attended the University of Southern California, announced his decision to begin competing professionally in December when he signed an historic multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Puma.
"There's always going to be pressure," De Grasse said, "and I think that's why Puma gave me that contract: They told me, hey, this is why we're giving this much money is because they expect me to be there.
"I think I'm up for the task. I'm ready for the challenge."
In 2015, De Grasse earned gold in both the 100m and 200m events at the Pan Am Games and followed that up with bronze medals in 100m and 4x100m at the world championships
De Grasse is planning a scaled-down indoor track season after a gruelling outdoor campaign last year. Furthermore, he is working on his starts and stretching out his racing legs as he builds toward the Rio Olympics in August.
Ahmed sets new Canadian record
Distance runner Mo Ahmed established a new Canadian indoor record in the 3,000m. He completed the race in a time of seven minutes, 40.11 seconds, also at the Millrose Games.
American Ryan Hill won the race, clocking a time of 7:38.82.
Kevin Sullivan held the previous indoor record at 7:40.17.
B.C.'s Cam Levins finished 10th, posting a time of 7:45.44.
Silver for Mason
Canada also claimed a silver medal in men's high jump, with Mike Mason jumping a height of 2.20 metres. Erik Kynard of the United States won with a 2.30-metre jump.
Two other Canadians competed at the event.
Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., came fifth in women's 60-metre hurdles in 8.19. American Janay DeLoach was first in 7.85.
Khamica Bingham of Brampton, Ont., placed sixth in women's 60m with a time of 7.25. Allyson Felix of the U.S. won the event in 7.15.
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press