Entering the men’s 200-meter final in Tokyo on Wednesday, much of the attention was focused on a trio of Americans.
There was Noah Lyles, who won the 2019 World Championships in the event. 22-year-old Kenneth Bednarek and 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton were attracting notice, too. But then came Canada’s Andre de Grasse, the sprinter who finished second to Usain Bolt five years ago.
De Grasse won Wednesday’s 200-meter sprint with a time of 19.62 seconds, setting a Canadian record. Bednarek finished second and Lyles earned a bronze medal.
“I want everybody to know: I shocked the world,” de Grasse said, per USA Today. “I know everyone was saying that the Americans were going to win, but I came out here and [knew] this was my moment.”
De Grasse won bronze in the 100-meter spring earlier in the Tokyo Games, and he won bronze in the same event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, on top of his silver behind Bolt. This is de Grasse’s first Olympic gold medal.
“It’s my first time being so emotional on the track,” De Grasse said, via ESPN. “I always thought I came up short winning bronze and silver, so it’s just good to have that gold medal. No one can take that away from me.”
Bednarek posted a 19.68 second time to win silver and Lyles finished third with a time of 19.74. Knighton finished fourth, rounding out the trio of Americans.
“It’s just another sign that you can’t take anything for granted,” Lyles said. “[The bronze medal] is nice to have. But I want more.”