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Canada's De Grasse wins 200m Diamond League title with impressive season-best showing

Andre De Grasse, of Canada looks up at the scoreboard after finishing a Men's 200-meters semifinal during the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Josek

EUGENE, Ore. — Canada's Andre De Grasse had an impressive season-best performance in the men's 200 metres to win his first Diamond League title at the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday.

The Markham, Ont., native showed off his vintage final gear down the stretch to pull ahead and cross the line in 19.76 seconds. 

Americans Kenny Bednarek (19.95) and Erriyon Knighton (19.97) placed second and third, respectively. Toronto's Aaron Brown finished sixth (20.23).

De Grasse, the reigning Olympic 200 champion, had struggled for much of the season — including a sixth-place finish at the world championships in August — but has come on of late. 

He ran 19.89 in a Diamond League meet in Belgium on Sept. 8 for his first sub-20 second performance of the year, which catapulted him into Sunday's final.

Earlier in the day, Marco Arop set a national record and personal best in a second-place finish in the men's 800.

The 24-year-old ran a time of one minute 42.85 seconds. The previous Canadian record was 1:43.20, set by Brandon McBride in 2018 with Arop's previous personal best being 1:43.24, which he ran on Sept. 2.

Kenya's Emmanuel Wanyonyi took the title with a meeting record and world-leading time of 1:42.80. Algeria's Djamel Sedjati was third at 1:43.06.

Edmonton's Arop was in second for a bit more than half the race before taking the lead from Jamaica's Navasky Anderson. However, Wanyonyi pulled ahead late to snatch first from Arop.

Arop outlasted the 19-year-old Wanyonyi at the world championships to become the first Canadian man to win world gold in the event.

Sarah Mitton of Brooklyn, N.S., finished second in the women's shot put final on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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