TORONTO, Sporting Alert – Canada new sprint sensation Andre De Grasse set a new 200 metres national record on his way to completing the Pan Am Games sprint double on Friday.
De Grasse Completes The Double
De Grasse, running blind out of lane 8 for the first 100m, delivered a spectacular 9.88 seconds to win the men’s 200m against a very strong field that had also included Jamaica Rasheed Dwyer, who had set the Pan Am Games record at 9.80 secs in the semis on Thursday.
The 20-year-old came off the corner behind Dwyer and Panama’s Alonso Edward, but managed to haul back his more experienced rivals in the closing metres to complete a rewarding double in front of his home supporters.
He was improving his previous Canadian record of 20.03, set earlier this season during the collegiate campaign.
Commonwealth Games champion Dwyer had positioned himself to strike gold after the first 150m, but the Beijing-bound sprinter was unable to maintain his speed and fell to second in 19.90.
Edward, the 2009 IAAF World Championships silver medallist behind Usain Bolt in that world record race, was third in Toronto on Friday, also in 19.90.
Defending champion Roberto Skyers of Cuba lowered his personal best to 20.02 for fourth, with USA’s Wallace Spearmon finishing outside the medals in fifth in 20.11.
Whitney Adds Pan Am Games Title To Junior Crown
American teenager Kaylin Whitney brought home the women’s title with an impressive showing to add the Pan Am Games crown to the World Junior championships gold medal from last summer.
The world youth record holder finished in 22.65 – holding off her compatriot Kyra Jefferson, at 22.72 and Jamaica’s Simone Facey, 22.74.
Ecuador’s 100m silver medallist Angela Tenorio (22.88) was beaten back into fourth with Kerron Stewart (23.07) of Jamaica further back in fifth place.
USA’s Ashley Higginson set a Pan Am Games record of 9:48.12 to take the women’s 3000m Steeplechase. She removed the previous mark of 9:51.13, set by Brazil’s Sabine Heitling in 2007.
Her countrywoman Shalaya Kipp (9:49.96) took second and Canadian Geneviève Lalonde (9:53.03) followed her across the finishing line.
Also on the track, Andrew Wheating (3:41.41) won a very exciting men’s 1500m, as the American got the better of Canadian pair Nathan Brannen (3:41.66) and Charles Philibert-Thibou (3:41.79) in a tight contest.
In field event action, Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago took home the men’s Javelin Throw with an 83.27m effort in the second round. He went on to pass on all three of his final throws.
In 4x100m qualifying action, Jamaica with a team of Samantha Henry-Robinson, 100m champion Sherone Simpson, Schillonie Calvert and 200m bronze medallist Simone Facey – clocked 42.82 seconds to win heat one and qualified for the final as the fastest team.
Hosts Canada were second in 42.98, with Brazil taking third in the heat in 43.24.
The second semi-final was won by USA in 43.07 with a team of Barbara Pierre, Lakeisha Lawson, Morolake Akinosun and Kaylin Whitney. They were initially disqualified, but reinstated after the judges found no fault in their exchanges.
Bahamas were followed second 44.34, with Cuba getting third in 44.58.
Trinidad and Tobago, one of the favourites to win a medal at these championships failed to make the final after an error at the exchange between the second and third leg runners.
Record Run For Francis and Antigua and Barbuda
In the men’s discipline, Antigua and Barbuda, with Miguel Francis and Daniel Bailey on the anchor and second legs, set a new Pan Am Games and national record of 38.14 seconds to win their heat and take down powerhouses USA and Jamaica.
In fact, Jamaica (38.75) finished all the way down in fourth and only made the medal race as one of the fastest losers.
The second semis was won by Trinidad and Tobago, who survived a terrible final exchange to win in 38.52 – beating Barbados (38.65) and Dominican Republic (38.67) who both set national records.