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Andre de Grasse, Canadian sprinter and Jacksonville resident, wins 200-meter Olympic gold

Running from lane six, de Grasse stormed down the stretch to overtake early leader Noah Lyles of the United States and achieve a personal-best time of 19.62 seconds.
Credit: nbcolympics.com

TOKYO, Japan — For Andre de Grasse, the wait for gold finally ended.

The Canadian sprinter, a Northeast Florida resident, finally earned his spot atop the Olympic podium with victory in Wednesday's men's 200-meter dash at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

Running from lane six, de Grasse stormed down the stretch to overtake early leader Noah Lyles of the United States and achieve a personal-best time of 19.62 seconds.

American Kenny Bednarek took silver and his teammate Lyles won the bronze, while 17-year-old Tampa native Erriyon Knighton ended up fourth.

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De Grasse has lived and trained in Jacksonville for more than two years. 

He had previously earned one silver (200) and two bronze medals (100 and 4x100 relay) at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as a bronze in the 100 at the Tokyo Olympics when he placed third behind Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs and the United States' Fred Kerley.

But until Wednesday, the top step of the podium had always eluded De Grasse at the Olympics, including his third place behind Jamaican legend Usain Bolt in 2016.

"Winning bronze, winning silver — obviously I was young back then," de Grasse told reporters after the race. "Racing the GOAT, Usain. So of course, I was still proud of myself. I was still happy to be at my first Olympics and be in that moment.

"But I knew coming into my second Games like, I'm ready. I prepared for this."

The 26-year-old, originally from Scarborough, Ontario, also owns one silver and three bronze medals from the World Athletics Championships.

He becomes Canada's third men's 200 champion, following Robert Kerr in 1908 and Percy Williams in 1928, and follows swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Murphy as athletes with Jacksonville ties to win gold in these Olympics.

De Grasse's victory comes 57 years after Jacksonville native Bob Hayes won gold in Tokyo in the 100.

The USA Today Network's Tom Schad contributed to this story.

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