Andre De Grasse claims 100m victory with blazing time at Prefontaine Classic
Markham, Ont., native posts wind-aided 9.74
Canada's Andre De Grasse won the men's 100 metres at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, besting a world class field with a blazing wind-aided time of 9.74 seconds (+2.9).
The six-time Olympic medallist from Markham, Ont., beat the stacked nine-man field to cross the finish line ahead of Tokyo silver medallist Fred Kerley of the U.S. (9.78). Fellow American Ronnie Baker finished third (9.82).
The 26-year-old's win comes just two weeks after his outstanding performance at the Tokyo Olympics, where he became Canada's most decorated male Olympian in history with gold in the 200m, and bronze in both the 100m and 4x100m relay.
WATCH | Andre De Grasse flies to Diamond League 100m victory:
The wind was over the allowable 2.0 metres per second, otherwise De Grasse would have smashed the Canadian record of 9.84 shared by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin.
"Not a lot is expected of me now that the Olympic Games is over, so [I] just went out there to have some fun," De Grasse said.
"This field was magnificent. So many people ran under 10 seconds. It's been a while since anyone has done that before, so it's really good to be part of that conversation."
Edmonton's Arop wins men's 800m
Felllow Canadian Marco Arop of Edmonton won the men's 800m, finishing ahead of the reigning Olympic gold and silver medallists.
The 22-year-old separated from the pack with a comfortable lead and finished with a time of one minute, 44.51 seconds to kick off the Diamond League meet.
Kenya's Ferguson Rotich finished second with a time of 1:45.02 after winning silver in the event at Tokyo 2020. Reigning Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir of Kenya placed third (1:45.05).
Arop missed the podium in the 800m at the Tokyo Olympics after failing to dvance past the semifinals.
WATCH | Arop claims 800m victory at Prefontaine Classic:
Toronto's Brown finishes 4th in men's 200m
Toronto native Aaron Brown finished fourth in the men's 200m with a time of 20.12, while fellow Canadian Jerome Blake of Kelowna crossed the line sixth (20.20). Brown finished sixth in the event in Tokyo.
American Noah Lyles stormed his way to a first-place finish with a world-leading time of 19.52 — beating De Grasse's gold medal time of 19.62 from Tokyo.
The Tokyo bronze medallist also established a new meeting record with the fifth-fastest time in history.
Tokyo silver medallist Kenny Bednarek of the U.S. finished second (19.80), and Noah's younger brother, Josephus, finished third with a personal best 20.03.
WATCH | Lyles runs 5th-fastest 200m race of all time:
Later on Saturday, Canadian long-distance runner Moh Ahmed posted a personal best time in the Boweman mile event (3:53.87), despite finishing 10th. Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who recently won Olympic gold in the 1,500m, won with a world-leading time of 3:47.24.
Ahmed, from St. Catharines, Ont., won silver in the men's 5,000m in Tokyo.
Toronto's Gabriela DeBues-Stafford finished sixth in the women's 1,500m (4:01.74), while two-time Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya won with a meeting record time of 3:53.23.
Canadian hurdler Sage Watson of Medicine Hat, Alta., ended her season with a disappointing last-place finish in the 400m hurdles event (56.52). Two-time Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad of the U.S. won the event with a meeting record 52.77.
Watson represented Canada in the event at Tokyo 2020, but she was unable to advance beyond the semis.
Thompson-Herah wins women's 100m, Richardson finishes last
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica won the women's 100m in the second-fastest time ever, crossing the finish line in 10.54 seconds.
Thompson-Herah, who completed a 100m-200m double for a second successive Olympics in Tokyo, said she surprised even herself at Hayward Field, beating compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by nearly two-tenths of a second. Shericka Jackson finished third to repeat the Jamaicans' Tokyo podium sweep.
WATCH | Thompson-Herah posts 2nd-fastest women's 100m ever:
American Florence Griffith-Joyner is the only woman to have clocked a faster time over the distance, having set the world record of 10.49 seconds in 1988.
Thompson-Herah was confident she could beat that time - and break the 200m record as well.
Sha'Carri Richardson's highly anticipated return to the track ended in frustration as the American finished last. She missed the Olympics because of a one-month suspension after testing positive for cannabis at the U.S. team trials in June.
"Count me out if you want to," said Richardson, 21, insisting that she had more left to accomplish. "I'm here to stay."
Olympic champion Athing Mu won the women's 800m in 1:55.04, her last race of the season in which she also won gold in the 4x400 relay.
With her key rival and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin absent, Tokyo silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad made light work of the 400m hurdles, winning by more than one second in 52.77.
In the women's 3,000m steeplechase, Kenya's Norah Jeruto put up a world-leading 8:53.65 to win, as American Courtney Frerichs took second in 8:57.77 after winning silver in Tokyo
With files from The Canadian Press, Reuters