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Andre De Grasse wins 100m with wind-aided time of 9.69 at Stockholm Diamond League

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With the help of winds blowing 4.8 meters per second, 22-year-old Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse finished first in the 100m race at the Stockholm Diamond League.

His winning time of 9.69 seconds would have broken the current Canadian record of 9.84 if the winds had not been well over the legal limit of 2.0.

De Grasse won a silver in the 200m and bronzes in the 100m and 4×100 relay at the 2016 Rio Olympics. His 100m time in Rio, which saw him finish behind Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and the U.S.’ Justin Gatlin, was a personal best of 9.91.

But his season’s best time was 10.01, which he clocked four days ago when he won the 100m at the Oslo Diamond League.

De Grasse hadn’t broken the 10-second mark since the Olympic race. He told the IAAF after his win in Stockholm, “Coming into today, I just wanted to run sub-10. When saw that time, I was in shock.”

Coming in second were the Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite and Jamaica’s Ryan Shields with times of 9.84 and 9.89, respectively. Five of the eight men in the final ran times under 10 seconds.

The next Diamond League meet will take place in Paris on July 1.

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Stockholm Diamond League preview, broadcast schedule

AP
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Andre De Grasse and Asbel Kiprop headline a Diamond League meet in Stockholm, live on Sunday starting at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold and 10 a.m. on NBCSN.

De Grasse, the only man other than Usain Bolt to earn three sprint medals in Rio, will look to break 10 seconds in the 100m for the first time since the Olympics.

Meanwhile, the 2008 Olympic champion Kiprop runs his first international 1500m race of the year. Kiprop went into the Rio Games as the favorite but finished sixth. Instead, Matthew Centrowitz ended a 108-year U.S. gold-medal drought in the event.

Athletes are preparing for the world championships in London in August. Bershawn Jackson, the 2008 Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medalist, is the only notable American in Stockholm as the U.S. Championships are next week.

Stockholm start lists are available here. Here’s the schedule (all times Eastern):

9:20 a.m. — Men’s/women’s discus
9:38 — Women’s pole vault
10:03 — Men’s 400m hurdles
10:07 — Women’s high jump
10:33 — Men’s 400m
10:50 — Men’s long jump
10:52 — Men’s 3000m steeplechase
11:08 — Women’s 200m
11:18 — Men’s 110m hurdles
11:28 — Men’s 1500m
11:40 — Men’s 100m
11:53 — Women’s 800m

Here are three events to watch:

Men’s/Women’s Discus — 9:20 a.m.

The major players from Thursday’s meet in Oslo are back, including every 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion — German brothers Robert and Christoph Harting and Croatian Sandra Perkovic.

Despite his Rio gold, Christoph has never won a Diamond League meet. Robert last prevailed in 2014. They were fifth and sixth in Oslo behind Swede Daniel Stahl, who didn’t make it out of qualifying at the Olympics.

The women’s discus is a little more stable. Perkovic is on a 16-meet winning streak but has been tested at her first two Diamond League meets this year, winning by less than two feet each time. In 2016, she regularly prevailed by more than 10 feet.

Men’s 1500m — 11:28 a.m.

This is a battle between two Kenyans.

Kiprop, the three-time reigning world champion, faces 21-year-old Timothy Cheruiyot. In his last two 1500m finals, Kiprop lost to the young Cheruiyot at the Diamond League final in Brussels last season and the Kenyan Championships six days ago.

Kiprop’s safety net of a bye into the London worlds may account for that last defeat, but Cheruiyot is the real deal. He was the fourth fastest 1500m runner in the world last year, behind the three Kenyans who beat him at the Olympic Trials.

Men’s 100m — 11:40 a.m. 

De Grasse just missed his first sub-10 since Rio when he won in Oslo on Thursday in 10.01 seconds. The Canadian gets another shot in Stockholm ahead of next month’s Canadian Championships.

Nobody in Saturday’s field has broken 10 seconds this season, though it does include fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place sprint finishers from Rio in Adam GemiliChurandy Martina and Ben Youssef Meite.

Still, De Grasse is the clear favorite eyeing his third straight Diamond League race victory. He’ll look to improve upon his world No. 14 ranking this year and consolidate his threat to Bolt at worlds in two months.

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Andre De Grasse ready to overtake Usain Bolt this summer

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ROME (AP) — Andre De Grasse isn’t interested in taking over from Usain Bolt as the world’s best sprinter when the eight-time Olympic champion retires later this year.

He’s ready now.

“I’m trying to win this year. I feel like I have a great chance, and that’s what I want to do,” De Grasse told The Associated Press ahead of Thursday’s Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meet, where the Canadian will run the 200m (NBC Sports Gold, 12:15 p.m. ET and NBCSN, 2 p.m. ET).

MORE: Rome Preview

Bolt won’t be running in Rome, but De Grasse is looking forward to racing the Jamaican great at the world championships in London in August.

“I feel like I have a great chance in both events — 100m or 200m,” De Grasse said, though Bolt has said he won’t race the 200m at worlds. “If I can execute my race and I’m in top shape I feel like I can do that.”

The 22-year-old De Grasse took silver behind Bolt in the 200m at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and bronze behind Bolt and Justin Gatlin in the 100m. Having also anchored Canada to a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay in Rio, De Grasse became the first Canadian sprinter to win three medals in a single Olympics.

De Grasse pushed Bolt so hard in the semifinals of the 200m in Rio that Bolt acknowledged it was draining and prevented him from improving his world record a night later.

So what would it take to beat Bolt in the 100m in August?

“No idea. It’s anybody’s game. You can’t name a time,” De Grasse said. “It’s always about weather and conditions and those types of things. But it’s going to obviously take a well-executed race. I have to be at the top of my game and if I can do that I can do something special.”

De Grasse is working on improving his starts, which also happens to be the only area that Bolt struggles in.

“If I can have a great start and try to hold the lead that would be great,” De Grasse said. “My top-end speed is good. It’s all about finding the right factors to go out there and win.”

As a teen, De Grasse ran one of his first races wearing basketball shorts and borrowed shoes. He stood up in the blocks while others crouched. It launched his career and led him to signing a big contract with Puma — the same company that sponsors Bolt.

“I was a basketball guy growing up so most of my guys that I looked up to were in the NBA like Allen Iverson and Vince Carter,” said De Grasse, who was born in Ontario to Caribbean parents. “I never really had any track fanatics growing up that I idolized.”

At the Stadio Olimpico, De Grasse’s top competition should come from Olympic bronze medalist Christophe Lemaitre of France.

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