STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Canada’s Andre De Grasse was blown to an emphatic and remarkably swift 100 metres win in a wind-assisted 9.69 seconds at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Sunday.
De Grasse, who may offer the biggest threat to Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s final major meeting at the world championships in August, flew down the Olympic Stadium track to hammer the opposition in a race which saw five men dip under 10 seconds.
Yet though the Olympic 200m silver medallist’s run was by far the fastest anywhere this year, he was aided by a 4.8 metres per second following wind, more than twice the 2 mps allowable limit, which ruled it out as a 2017 world leading performance.
Nonetheless, De Grasse, who won the 100m in the Oslo Diamond League meet on Thursday, underlined the threat he could pose to Bolt in London with a victory by 0.15 of a second over Ivorian Ben Youssef Meite and 0.2 ahead of Jamaican Ryan Shields.
“It was a shock to me when I saw the time on the board, I just wanted to run sub-10 and I didn’t feel in the shape to run that fast,” the 22-year-old De Grasse said.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever run. It’s going to be a shock to the body. Tomorrow’s going to hurt a little bit.”
De Grasse’s time was equal to 9.79 seconds with wind of 2 mps and 9.88 with no wind. Bolt’s world record set at the Berlin world championships in 2009 is 9.58 seconds with wind of 0.9 mps.
“It gives me a lot of confidence running that fast because I didn’t feel that fast,” added De Grasse.
“I know when I actually start coming together and feeling good and getting ready to peak for the world championships, I know it’s going to be something special.”
The wind, which started to really gust as the field prepared in their blocks, was so strong that even the fifth finisher, Germany’s Julian Reus, clocked 9.99 seconds.
The following wind ensured that the Canadian record of 9.84, held jointly by Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin, remained intact as did De Grasse’s personal best of 9.91, set when he won 100m bronze at last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
De Grasse’s effort rivalled the other performance of the day from Kenya’s young newly-crowned metric mile champion, Timothy Cheruiyot, who clocked a world leading mark of 3 minutes 30.77 seconds to win a high-quality 1500 metres.
The 21-year-old broke his rivals with 300 metres left, his kick leaving Bahraini Alsadik Mikhou, previously the fastest in 2017, well adrift in second (3:31.49) and an out-of-sorts Asbel Kiprop, Kenya’s triple world champion, way off the pace in fourth (3:33.17).
Another 21-year-old prospect, Norway’s much-touted Karsten Warholm, underlined his promise with an excellent front-running 400m hurdles triumph.
It came hot on the heels of his national record-breaking victory on home soil in Oslo as Warholm outpaced another quality field in 48.82 seconds.
Reporting by Ian Chadband; editing by Ken Ferris