Andre De Grasse withdraws from men's 200m at world championships

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Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse looks on after competing in the men’s 100-metre heats on Day 1 of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Friday. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images - image credit)
Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse looks on after competing in the men’s 100-metre heats on Day 1 of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Friday. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images - image credit)

Canada's six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse has withdrawn from the men's 200 metres at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

De Grasse, who is the reigning Olympic champion in the 200m, tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time less than three weeks ago.

He had been suffering from a number of symptoms, including shortness of breath. It forced him to miss nationals in Langley, B.C., at the end of June.

On Saturday, the 27-year-old from Markham, Ont., finished fifth in his semifinal heat in a time of 10.21 seconds and failed to qualify for the 100m final.

WATCH l De Grasse reflects on semifinal performance:

In his post-race interview, De Grasse hinted at skipping the 200m.

"I don't know. We'll see. After that performance it doesn't look like it, but we'll see what happens. [I'll] talk to my coach and go from there," De Grasse said.

"I didn't have it today. [I'm] grateful to be back out here in front of this amazing crowd, my family and friends. It's alright. It's been a challenging season. I'll take it; I made it to the semifinals.

However, De Grasse still plans to compete in the 4x100m relay event at the end of worlds.

"I definitely don't want to let my team down. I'll be there for them," he said.

De Grasse's remarkable medal streak came to an end when he failed to qualify for the 100m final — dating back to his world championship debut in 2015 when he won bronze in the 100. De Grasse has entered seven individual events at the worlds or Olympics and reached the podium in every single one of them.

The men's 200m heats are scheduled to begin Monday night, while the semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday evening.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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