Sat | Mar 17, 2018

DeGrasse targets CWG 200m title

Published:Saturday | January 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Canada's top sprinter Andre DeGrasse will compete at the Commonwealth Games in April but not in the 100 metres. That detail was aired earlier this week by Athletics Canada, the governing body for track and field in that country. DeGrasse is set to run the 200 metres and is also part of Canada's 4x100 metre relay squad.

Degrasse placed second to the now-retired Usain Bolt of Jamaica at the 2016 Olympic Games in the 200 metres, but also garnered bronze medals from the 100 metres at the 2015 World Championships and those Olympics. In addition, he won both events at the 2015 Pan-American Games. His non-inclusion in the Commonwealth removes one possible medallist, given his success in big meets and his 100 metre personal best of 9.91 seconds.

Thanks to Asafa Powell, Lerone Clarke and Kemar Bailey-Cole, Jamaica has held the Commonwealth Games 100 metres title since 2006. That's when Powell won, with Clarke winning in 2010, and Bailey-Cole succeeding in 2014.

The other major absentee from the Canadian team is Olympic high jump champion Derek Drouin. Like Degrasse, he missed the World Championships because of injury. Prior to that misfortune, Drouin had jumped to victory at the Commonweath and Pan-American Games and the 2015 World Championships.




Nevertheless, the Canadian track and field team will be one to watch at this year's Commonwealth Games, which will be held on the Gold Coast of Australia. It also includes defending decathlon champion Damian Warner, World Championship 200 metre finalist Crystal Emannuel, 2015 World pole vault winner Shawnacy Barber, Pan-American long jump gold medal winner Christabel Netty and a powerful men's 4x100 metres contingent.

Last year, Canada sped to victory in the 4x200 metres at the IAAF World Relays, with Gavin Smellie, Brendon Rodney, DeGrasse and Aaron Brown clocking 1 minute 19.42 seconds. All four are part of the Canadian squad named this week.