TORONTO, Sporting Alert – Andre De Grasse recorded the quickest time in the men’s 200m heats at the Pan Am Games on Thursday morning.
The 100m champion from Wednesday night ran a conservative final 60m to crossed the finish line in a slightly wind-aided 20.17 seconds, just edging out Cuba’s defending champion Roberto Skyers, who finished second in the heat in 20.18.
USA’s BeeJay Lee (20.34) and Alex Quinonez of Ecuador (20.59) were the other qualifiers for the semi-finals from that heat four setup, with the latter going through as one of the quickest losers outside of the top three finishers.
Second fastest on the day was Miguel Francis of Antigua & Barbuda after winning his qualifying heat in 20.21 (+2.4).
The youngster got home in front of American half lap specialist Wallace Spearmon, who was timed at 20.49 and Brazil’s Aldemir da Silva Junior (20.54). St. Kitts and Nevis 100m bronze medallist Antoine Adams made it through as well as one of the fastest losers with his time of 20.62 for fourth place in the heat.
Jamaica’s Commonwealth Games champion Rasheed Dwyer also looked impressive when winning heat 3 in 20.24 – shutting down in the last half of the race to get home ahead of the Dominican Republic’s Yancarlos Martinez, who ran a personal best of 20.30.
Panama’s Alonso Edward, the 2009 World Championships silver medallist from Berlin won his heat in 20.39 seconds – taking his foot off the gas over the final metres of the race to save his energy for the semi-finals later.
Bruno de Barros of Brazil followed home in the heat in 20.41 to earn his place in the semi-finals.
On the women’s side, Jamaican veterans Simone Facey and Kerron Stewart both looked comfortable when winning their respective heats, but it was their Caribbean compatriot Kamaria Durant, who ran the quickest time of the morning after she recorded a personal best of 22.74 to win heat 2.
Stewart, an Olympic Games bronze medal winner in this event in 2008 won her heat in 22.97, while countrywoman Facey went 22.94.
Angela Tenorio (22.86) of Ecuador, the silver medal winner in the 100m, USA’s Kaylin Whitney (22.88) Isidora Jimenez (22.95) of Chile and Venezuelan Nercely Soto (22.99), all went below 23-seconds in heat 2.
The semi-finals of the 200m at these Pan Am Games championships will take place on Thursday night’s second session.