The Olympic 200 metre final field is set with Canada’s Andre De Grasse expected to take a starring role just as he did in the 100m on Sunday.
The 100m bronze medallist from Rio 2016 clocked 19.80 seconds from heat two of the semifinals. De Grasse finished second to Jamaica’s 100m gold medallist Usain Bolt – just as he had done in the 100m semifinals – for an automatic spot in the final.
Side-by-side, the two looked and laughed at each other as they crossed the finish line, posting the two fastest 200m times on the night. Bolt crossed in 19.78 seconds, shutting down well ahead of the finish line, as did De Grasse when he felt he had enough space on the field behind him.
For De Grasse, it’s a new national record, breaking his own 19.88 mark set at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games last year.
Canada’s Aaron Brown was unable to pick up a top two position in his 200m semifinal heat, nor was he one of the two fastest non-automatic qualifiers. Brown will likely next feature in the 4x100m relay for Canada.
The other finalists for the 200m on Thursday night, aside from Bolt and De Grasse, are heat one winner Lashawn Merritt (United States) and runner-up Christophe Lemaitre (France); heat three top two finishers Alonso Edward (Panama) and Churandy Martina (Netherlands) are also through to the final; Adam Gemili (Great Britain) and Ramil Guliyev (Turkey) head to the final with the next two fastest times overall from the semifinals.
Surprisingly, neither Justin Gatlin of the United States, nor Yohan Blake of Jamaica – two of the fastest 200 metre runners of all time – made the final. Gatlin also won 100m silver in Rio prior to taking part in the 200m.
The final takes place at 9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday night.