De Grasse out for rest of track season with 2nd hamstring injury

Andre De Grasse, whose sprint title reign in the 100 and 200 metres at the Canadian track and field championships ended over the weekend, has had the balance of his season wiped out because of a second right hamstring injury in less than a year.

The 2016 Olympic triple medallist was in the lead on the straightaway in Saturday afternoon’s semifinal heat when he pulled up at Terry Fox Stadium after reportedly feeling a “little grab” in his right hamstring. An MRI on Sunday revealed a Grade 1 strain, according to De Grasse’s brand manager, Brian Levine, with Toronto-based Envision Sports & Entertainment

Last August, De Grasse was forced to withdraw from the world championships with a more serious Grade 2 hamstring strain suffered during a training run. De Grasse put on a brave face Saturday, waving to the crowd and clapping his hands after walking across the finish line.

“I think I ran a good 150, and then all of a sudden it just surprised me,” said De Grasse, who reportedly received treatment at the stadium following Saturday’s 200 semifinals.

De Grasse’s relay teammate Aaron Brown continued his stellar season with a victory in the event, clocking in at 20.17 seconds.

“Yeah, it’s a little bit [frustrating],” De Grasse said. “I felt like I was about to run a fast time. I felt pretty good in the warmup, and then all of a sudden, that happened. But it’s part of the game, you win some you lose some, and you’ve just got to take your losses and come back strong and try to make the best of it.”

I thought he battled really well in the 100 final … He almost certainly hadn’t ran that fast in a long time.— Stu McMillan, Andre De Grasse’s coach

De Grasse said that Friday’s two rounds of the 100 might have been a factor in being slowed in Saturday’s 200 semi.

“It’s probably my first time since last year kind of doubling up and running races back to back like that, so maybe it could have had a little bit of an effect,” he said.

Stu McMillan, De Grasse’s coach, echoed that sentiment.

“I thought he battled really well in the 100 final, and he put a lot of effort into that, and I think the velocity that he put his body through obviously affected what was going on today,” McMillan said. “He almost certainly hadn’t ran that fast in a long time. That’s a pretty significant load on your system.”

De Grasse sat out the Commonwealth Games in April before returning from a nine-month absence later that month at Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, where De Grasse ran 10.15 in the 100. In his 200 season debut, the Markham, Ont., runner clocked 20.46 at the season-opening Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar, on May 4.

Brown crowned 100 champion

A week later, De Grasse finished last in the 100 (10.25) at Diamond League Shanghai before taking a six-week break. He returned to the track last week at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic in Burnaby, B.C., where 2018 Canadian 100 champion Aaron Brown ran 10.21 to De Grasse’s 10.36.

On Friday night, Brown became the first sprinter in four years not named De Grasse to win the 100 at nationals, stopping the clock in 10.16 and beating Bismark Boateng by 1-1000th of a second for the title. De Grasse crossed the line third in 10.20.

De Grasse had barely qualified for the final after finishing third in his semifinal in 10.36.

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