Lamont Marcell Jacobs may be the 100 metres Olympic champion but Andre De Grasse is the man to watch and runner most likely to put his stamp on the men’s sprints, says the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt.
De Grasse took silver behind the Italian in Tokyo but the Canadian’s consistency makes him the frontrunner to dominate the sprint scene, including next year’s World Championships which will be staged in the United States for the first time.
The Tokyo Olympic 200m title represents the only major gold on De Grasse’s resume but the 26-year-old has been a medal machine at the big events collecting 10 Olympic and world championship medals. De Grasse has been on Bolt’s radar since finishing runner-up to the Jamaican sprint king in the 100m at the 2016 Rio Games and now the Canadian may finally be ready to assume the throne.
“Andre De Grasse is more consistent and any time he is in shape he is on the podium,” Bolt said. “So if that continues on this line he would be the guy to watch out for, or he will be the guy to beat. “Everyone else has been up and down, win one meet lose the next and it is all about consistency.”
Since Bolt, an eight-time Olympic champion, left the sport no one has been able to fill the void left by the charismatic Jamaican on the track or off it.
Jacobs shot from relative sprinting obscurity in Tokyo to snatch the 100m crown Bolt had worn for three Games (2008, 2012, 2016) while Americans Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman won the last two world titles that had been the Jamaican’s property.
Bolt’s departure has left the sport without a marquee personality that casual fans can grab onto.