Andre De Grasse, Olympic 200m champion, withdraws from event at track worlds

Andre De Grasse
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Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse of Canada will not contest the 200m at the world track and field championships.

De Grasse, who said before the meet that he would be a game-time decision for the event, withdrew before Monday’s first round because he’s still recovering from a recent COVID-19 bout, according to Athletics Canada.

On Saturday, De Grasse was eliminated in the 100m semifinals at worlds in Eugene, Oregon, marking the first time in eight individual races between the Olympics and world championships that he did not earn a medal. Afterward, he was pessimistic about contesting the 200m.

“After that performance, it doesn’t look like it,” De Grasse told CBC. “We’ll see what happens, talk to my coach and kind of go from there.”

De Grasse still plans to run the 4x100m relay later this week, according to Athletics Canada.

At the Tokyo Olympics, De Grasse won the 200m in a Canadian record 19.62 seconds, which would rank third this year behind Americans Erriyon Knighton (19.49) and Noah Lyles (19.61).

De Grasse’s best 200m time in 2022 is 20.38, which ranks outside the top 70 men in the world this year.

De Grasse’s absence means that the Tokyo Olympic gold medalists in the men’s 100m, 200m and 400m all withdrew from their events at worlds.

TRACK WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule | Results | U.S. Roster | Key Events

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12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

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At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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