After a year of injury and change, Canada’s most decorated summer Olympian, Andre DeGrasse, has been optimistic about the progress he has made. In his seven races this season, De Grasse has yet to clock a sub-10-second time in the 100m or a 20.20-second time in the 200m, and he is sitting outside the World Athletics top 50 in both events. However, despite the lack of fast times, he feels healthy and confident as he prepares for Friday’s Lausanne Diamond League and Sunday’s Stockholm Diamond League.
After a fifth-place performance in the 200m at the Oslo Diamond League two weeks ago, De Grasse expressed satisfaction with how the race went and was pleased to be healthy and getting reps in. Over the past two years, De Grasse has competed in more outdoor races than Italy’s Marcell Jacobs and us sprinter Christian Coleman combined. “The current objective is to work on finding my rhythm before the major championships,” says De Grasse. “With each race, I’m gradually shedding off the rust and identifying areas I need to improve.”
The two-time Olympian will add two more reps this weekend at Diamond League stops in Lausanne and Stockholm. On Friday in Lausanne, De Grasse will take on his Canada 4x100m relay teammate Aaron Brown in the men’s 200m and will head to Stockholm for a 100m on Sunday–a meet where he’s had a lot of success. In 2017, De Grasse ran a wind-aided 9.69 seconds to take the win in the Swedish capital. “I am feeling confident,” says DeGrasse. “I’m not expecting to have the result I had in 2017, but I want to put together a sub-10-second performance Sunday.”
Nature of the sport
The end of the 2022 season was a significant transition for De Grasse; he moved from Jacksonville, Fla. to Orlando to join a new training group led by renowned coach John Coghlan from Ireland, who notably guided Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn to a gold medal in the 100m hurdles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 28-year-old said the move to a new coach was about a fresh start heading into the 2023 World Athletics Championships, and ultimately, the 2024 Paris Olympics, where De Grasse hopes to defend his 200m title.
DeGrasse recognizes that the track and field season is long; he hopes to find his rhythm before the Canadian Track and Field Championships at the end of July in Langley, BC Following that, he awaits the opportunity to represent Canada against the world’s best at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.
Canadian athletes in Lausanne
De Grasse will join two other Canadian athletes in Lausanne, including Toronto’s Brown, who will be competing in his specialty event, the 200m. Brown began the 2023 season with a 20-second-flat performance at the Golden Grand Prix in Botswana, but in his last two Diamond League appearances, he has been unable to break the 20.20 mark.
In the women’s pole vault, Alysha Newman from London, Ont., will continue her pursuit of the world championship standard mark of 4.71 meters, with her season’s best currently standing at 4.61 meters, achieved at the LA Grand Prix in May.
How to watch
You can cheer on De Grasse and the rest of the Canadian athletes by streaming all the action from Friday’s Oslo Diamond League online with CBC Sports, starting at 2 pm ET