Canada’s Andre De Grasse is golden — finally.
The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., raced to victory in the men’s 200 metres at the Tokyo Olympics, cementing his place among the all-time great sprinters.
De Grasse roared to the finish line in a Canadian-record time of 19.62 seconds.
Gold was the one Olympic medal missing from De Grasse’s collection. The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., raced to bronze in the 100 metres on Monday in Tokyo, and captured a silver and two bronze in 2016 in Rio. He’s raced to a silver and three bronze over the 2015 and ’19 world championships.
“I always felt like I came up for short winning bronze and silver, so it’s just good to just have that gold medal. No one can take that away from me,” said De Grasse, who was overcome by emotions while speaking to reporters.
Kenneth Bednarek took silver in 19.68 seconds and fellow American Noah Lyles earned bronze in 19.74.
Aaron Brown of Toronto was sixth in 20.20.
Winning his fifth Olympic medal — and second in Tokyo after taking bronze in the 100 metres — De Grasse tied Phil Edwards for the most by a Canadian track and field athlete. Edwards captured five bronze medals between 1928 and 1936.
De Grasse’s victory comes 25 years — plus a week — after Donovan Bailey raced to 100-metre gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
He broke into tears when talking about his family — longtime girlfriend Nia, who is the reigning world 100-metre hurdles champion for the U.S., his stepson Titus, daughter Yuri, and a son, whose name he hasn’t revealed, who was born in May.
“I’m just so proud. I’m so proud of myself,” he said. “This is for them, of course I put a lot of expectations on myself. But I just do it for my family, I do it for my kids.”
Canada had two men in the 200-metre final for the first time since 1928, when Percy Williams took gold and teammate John Fitzpatrick finished fifth.
Brown, 29, was racing in his first individual Olympic final. He was on the 4×100 relay team with De Grasse that captured bronze in 2016 in Rio.
Canada’s Damian Warner, meanwhile, opened his quest for an Olympic decathlon title in emphatic fashion and led at the halfway point.
The 31-year-old from London, Ont., got off to a great start, tying his decathlon world best in the men’s 100 metres of 10.12. Then, 30 minutes later, Warner crushed the field in the long jump, soaring 8.24 metres, the longest in Olympic decathlon history and a distance that would have earned him a bronze medal in the open men’s long jump earlier in the week.
Warner’s lead diminished after the shot put, in which he finished 11th, and the high jump (eighth). But he rebounded with the third-best time in the 400 metres at 47.48 seconds to enter the halfway point in top spot with 4,722 points.
Australian Ashley Moloney, who had the best time in the 400, was second with 4,529 points.
Canadian teammate Pierce LePage also impressed over the first five events and was in third place with 4,529 points.
Warner is the No. 1-ranked decathlete in the world this year after shattering his Canadian record at the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria. His score of 8,995 there was the fourth best in history.
LePage, from Whitby, Ont., ran the 100 in 10.43, the third-fastest time on the morning. His 7.65 metres in long jump was second-best, and his throw of 15.31 in shot put was fourth. To cap the day, he posted the second-best 400 time at 46.92 seconds while running in a fast heat with Warner and Moloney.
Warner’s Canadian record performance in May came after a winter of training in an unheated hockey arena in London. COVID-19 protocols shut down the University of Western Ontario indoor track facility, so his coaches outfitted the arena with a 40-metre track runway, pole vault and high jump pits, and a throwing circle.
The decathletes are facing gruelling conditions in Tokyo. The temperature at Olympic Stadium at 9 a.m. for the 100 metres was already 33 C, but felt like 47 C with the humidity.
Thursday’s weather forecast calls for sun and a high of 35 C.
The decathlon features 10 events over two days. The 400 metres was the final event on Wednesday. Thursday’s Day 2 events are the 110-metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and the 1,500 metres.
In other events, Genevieve Lalonde of Moncton, N.B., was 11th in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase, shaving a couple of tenths of a second off her Canadian record to run 9:22.40.
Gabriela DeBues-Stafford clinched her spot in the women’s 1,500 final by finishing third in her semi in a season’s best 3:58.28. Her time was the third fastest on the night in the fastest semifinal in Olympic history with five women dipping under the four-minute mark.
Her younger sister Lucia Stafford was sixth in her semifinal (a personal best 4:02.12), and didn’t advance.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021.
Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.
In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.
Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.
“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”
In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.
Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.
The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN
Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.
Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.
The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.
Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.
The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.
Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca
The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.
Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.
The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.
The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.
“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”
The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.
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