Usain Bolt wins 100m gold, Andre De Grasse gets bronze
Jamaican icon 3-peats; Canadian sets personal-best time of 9.91 seconds
By Benjamin Blum, CBC Sports
Usain Bolt completed a historic three-peat, winning gold in the 100-metre final Sunday in Rio. Canada's Andre De Grasse captured bronze.
Bolt won the race in 9.81 seconds, followed by American Justin Gatlin at 9.89 and De Grasse at a personal-best 9.91.
Wear that flag like a cape, De Grasse, you earned it <a href="https://t.co/JqW8QKO7f0">https://t.co/JqW8QKO7f0</a>—@CBCOlympics
De Grasse out-leaned Yohan Blake at the finish to reach the podium, edging the Jamaican by 2-100ths of a second.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now, I can't complain," De Grasse said after the race. "To be able to race against Usain and Gatlin, being a part of the same race as them and being a part of history today in Rio, it was a great feeling for me and I just have so much to learn from that race."
De Grasse, from Markham, Ont., finished 1-100th of a second faster than the time he posted to win bronze at the 2015 world championships and equalled earlier Sunday in the 100 semifinals.
He is also the first Canadian male athlete to win a medal in Rio. Canada's first 12 medals were won by women.
"I'm shaking," Canadian 1996 Olympic champion Donovan Bailey told CBC Sports' Scott Russell after the race. "This is great for track and field in Canada."
Bolt enters Olympic pantheon
If there were any doubts, it took less than 10 seconds — 9.81, to be exact — for Bolt to erase them.
On a muggy Sunday night in Rio, the Jamaican superstar became the first person to capture three straight 100-metre titles at the Olympics.
The 6-foot-5 sprinter overcame his typically slow unfurling from the blocks, gradually worked up speed, caught American Justin Gatlin with 40 metres left and was celebrating — pointing at his chest with his thumb — before he crossed the finish line.
"Bolt just had that extra gear and I tried to go with him, it was tough but I know now I just need to work harder for next year and be more prepared," De Grasse said.
"After having an up and down season with injuries this year,I can't complain about the bronze medal. This is the best shape I've ever been in [and] I came away with a personal-best."
"I told Blake. Watch him. Watch him, Blake. He's coming." Big brother, little brother <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bromance?src=hash">#Bromance</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rio2016?src=hash">#Rio2016</a> <a href="https://t.co/4979D0i4kG">https://t.co/4979D0i4kG</a>—@CBCOlympics
As for the Olympic icon Bolt, he had nothing but praise for the Canadian medallist.
"He came through again," Bolt said. "He's going to be good, he runs just like me, I mean he's really slow at the blocks but when he gets going, he gets going."
"I think he can improve his start much better than me because he's shorter so he will get better at the start if he works on a few things."
The next one?
De Grasse's Olympic debut comes on the heels of a changing of the guard in sprinting.
With Bolt and Gatlin's futures uncertain, the Canadian's bronze medal could be a golden opportunity going forward.
"We were just having some fun," De Grasse said about his post-race encounter with Bolt. "Me and Usain met back in January, we did a lot of things together."
"He feels like I'm the next one, and now I'm just trying to live up to it."
De Grasse has plenty of confidence on the track, but credits his mother Beverley for pushing him to succeed.
"She's everything," De Grasse said. "Without her I don't know even know if I would even be so motivated to do this sport."
"I feel like I'm capable of doing it, my next Olympics I'm looking forward to it but as of now I'm just trying to get ready for my 200 and just sink it all in.
With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press