Track·CBC SPORTS IN TOKYO

Andre De Grasse wins bronze medal in Olympic men's 100m

Canada's Andre De Grasse will bring home a bronze medal from the Olympic men's 100-metre final on Sunday in Tokyo.

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs wins gold, Canadian adds to bronze won at Rio 2016

Andre De Grasse of Canada reacts after winning the bronze medal in the men's 100m final during the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Sunday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Canada's Andre De Grasse ran his fastest 100-metre time ever to capture the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

"From me this is an amazing moment. Last year I never thought we would be here in Tokyo," De Grasse said after the race. "And to get back on the podium it's amazing."

De Grasse finished the race in 9.89 seconds, while Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs took the gold in 9.80. The silver went to Fred Kerley of the United States.

De Grasse, from Markham, Ont., is Canada's first male athlete to win an Olympic medal at the Games.

Starting in lane nine, at about the 60-metre mark, De Grasse seemed to be out of the race before making a valiant charge down the stretch before running out of room.

"I knew it was going to be a tough one after I drew lane nine. I didn't have a great semifinal and I knew I had to come out and try and execute as best as I can," he said. "I ran a personal best and I am really grateful for that."

Donovan Bailey, who won gold in this race for Canada at the 1996 Olympics, said De Grasse did all he could.

"The race that he ran from lane nine was probably the best race he could have run," said Bailey, who is now an analyst for CBC Sports. "A tremendous last 30 metres allowed [De Grasse] to continue his podium run."

WATCH | De Grasse wins bronze with blazing finish: 

De Grasse wins 100m bronze with blazing finish, Italy's Jacobs takes gold

2 months ago
5:55
Canadian Andre De Grasse claimed 100m bronze in a second-straight Olympic Games, while Italian Lamont Jacobs won gold and American Fred Kerley took silver. 5:55

On a heavy, sticky Tokyo evening, under the bright lights that ring Olympic Stadium, it was a perfect night for the Games' marquee event.

Temperatures hovered around 30C at race time, with only the whisper of breeze circulating around the empty bowl of the cavernous stadium.

As the planet's eight fastest men approached the blocks — even though the stadium was empty — the weight of the moment could be felt.

Wearing his trademark red and grey kit and wraparound sunglasses, De Grasse — who stands five-foot-eight — stepped cooly toward the blocks.

The stadium lights dimmed, and the world's most-watched stretch of track was bathed in the spotlight.

WATCH | The National on De Grasse's historic medal:

Canada’s Andre DeGrasse captures bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics

2 months ago
4:22
Andre DeGrasse of Markham, Ont., is Canada's first male athlete to win a medal at the games, following a third place win in the men's 100-metre race. 4:22

'A lot of nerves'

With hundreds of millions of people around the world watching the race, ominous music pumped through the stadium's PA system, adding to the tension.

Then came a false start.

"It was a lot of nerves out there for all of us," De Grasse said. "Anyone of us could have won that race tonight. We all just gave it our best and I am just super grateful."

WATCH | De Grasse says 'I'm getting better' every year:

De Grasse after bronze medal win: 'Every year I'm getting better'

2 months ago
1:52
Andre De Grasse breaks down his bronze medal win in the 100m race at Tokyo 2020. 1:52

The moment after the gun goes off in the Olympic 100m race is usually followed by the loudest roar of the Games.

But as the runners broke from the blocks, near silence, only filled by thousands of clicks coming from cameras.

Coming into Tokyo, the coveted World's Fastest Man title was there for the taking.

In Rio, the sprinting world was in the thrall of now-retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, whose 9.58 remains a world record.

But now it's anyone's race.

De Grasse hasn't given up on finally climbing to the top of the podium, and he says he can still go faster.

"I feel like every year I just keep getting better. I have still got time in me and I just have to keep going."

WATCH | CBC Sports explains the 100m dash: 

CBC Sports Explains: The 100m dash

2 months ago
7:06
The 100m dash is the most electrifying 10 seconds in sports. Usain Bolt and Florence Griffith Joyner have been on top of the world for years, being the earth's fastest humans. But how fast can humans really run, and have we reached our peak? 7:06

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Strashin is a native Torontonian whose latest stop is the CBC Sports department. Before, he spent 15 years covering everything from city hall to courts and breaking news as a reporter for CBC News. He has also worked in Brandon, Man., and Calgary. Follow him on Twitter @StrashinCBC

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