De Grasse 4th for 2nd straight Diamond League 100m race leading into Olympics

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Trayvon Bromell of the United States won his sixth 100-metre race in seven attempts in 2021, defeating Canada's Andre De Grasse for the second time this season at Tuesday's Müller British Grand Prix at Gateshead International Stadium in England. (Ashley Allen/Getty Images - image credit)
Trayvon Bromell of the United States won his sixth 100-metre race in seven attempts in 2021, defeating Canada's Andre De Grasse for the second time this season at Tuesday's Müller British Grand Prix at Gateshead International Stadium in England. (Ashley Allen/Getty Images - image credit)

Trayvon Bromell continues to demonstrate he'll be the man to beat in the 100 metres at the Tokyo Olympics.

The American sprinter won for the sixth time in seven races in the event this season, clocking 9.98 seconds on a cool Tuesday evening at the Müller British Grand Prix for his first Diamond League victory of 2021 before about 2,000 fans in Gateshead, England.

Bromell, 26, was fresh off a 10.01 performance at Diamond League Monaco on Friday and has a world-leading time of 9.77 this season.

Chijindu Ujah was second in Tuesday's race in 10.10, followed by fellow Brit and European champion Zharnel Hughes (10.13) in a photo finish over Canada's Andre De Grasse (10.13) and Fred Kerley (10.13) of the United States.

De Grasse placed fourth for the second consecutive race after running 10-flat in Monaco. He has now run over 10 seconds four times in seven races this season.

The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., has yet to lower a 9.99 second best from his outdoor opener on April 17 in Gainesville, Fla., but De Grasse tends to shine on the biggest stage.

WATCH | De Grasse places 4th in Gateshead ahead of Olympics:

Bromell has won two of three showdowns this season against De Grasse, whom he battled during his college days in the NCAA. In April, Bromell posted a convincing victory in 9.88 over runner-up De Grasse (10.05) at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville.

De Grasse will be in tough in Tokyo as seven men, including Bromell, fellow American Ronnie Baker (9.85) and Kerley (9.86), have run faster in 2021 than his 9.90 personal best from a silver-medal performance at the 2019 world championships.

With Christian Coleman suspended and barred from the Olympics, Akani Simbine is also one to watch. The 27-year-old South African ran a season-best 9.84 last week in Budapest, Hungary after winning a Diamond League event on June 10 in Florence, Italy.

The first round of the Olympic 100 is scheduled for July 31 at National Stadium in Tokyo. The semifinals will be held the following day along with the final, slated for 9 a.m. ET.

12 races in 13-week stretch

Later Tuesday, De Grasse ran an impressive anchor leg in the 4x100 relay, leading Canada to a second-place finish in a season-best 38.29 seconds. Great Britain prevailed in a world-leading 38.27 while the Netherlands was third in 38.49.

WATCH | Brits edge Canadians to win 4x100 men's relay:

Tuesday was the 12th race overall in a 13-week stretch for De Grasse, who has run four times in the 200 and will race that event along with the 100 and 4x100 relay in Tokyo.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, De Grasse followed up his bronze and a then-personal-best time of 9.91 in the 100 with silver in the 200 before running the anchor leg with Aaron Brown, Akeem Haynes and Brendon Rodney to set a Canadian record of 37.64 en route to bronze.

While many of Canada's 57-member track and field team have stopped competing ahead of its pre-Olympic training camp in Gifu, Japan, Khamica Bingham of Brampton, Ont., also competed Tuesday and had her best-ever finish in Diamond League action.

She placed second in the women's 100 in 11.23 seconds, 13-100ths of a second ahead of Toronto's Crystal Emmanuel, who was third in the non-Diamond League points race. Both women will race in Tokyo.

Switzerland's Ajla Del Ponte won in 11.19 while Ottawa's Jacqueline Madogo was sixth in the field of seven, stopping the clock in 11.74 at Gateshead International Stadium.

Flanagan runs personal best in 3,000m

Emmanuel, this year's Canadian champion for an eighth time, and Bingham placed 1-2 at a Continental Tour event on June 29 in Montreal, with Emmanuel matching her 11.11 personal best and running under the 11.15 Olympic standard on the final day of qualifying. She is expected to double in the 100 and 200 in Japan.

Emmanuel and Bingham were also part of the Canadian squad disqualified from the women's 4x100 relay on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Ben Flanagan of Kitchener, Ont., took nearly 18 seconds off his outdoor PB in the men's 3,000, placing 15th among 16 finishers in 7:54.32. The 26-year-old's previous best was 8:12.07 from April 2, 2016 in Durham, N.C.

Flanagan was chosen as an alternate for the Canadian squad in the 5,000 on July 2 after his 13:20.67 performance from a Boston meet in late May was ratified, putting him within the world rankings quota for selection.

The Reebok Boston Track Club member, who lives and trains in Charlottesville, Va., could race in Japan should any of Canada's Olympians in the event — Moh Ahmed, Justyn Knight and Luc Bruchet — be unable to race.

WATCH | Meet Canada's Olympic track and field team:

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