Sports

Athletics: After De Grasse exit, who can stop Bolt and Van Niekerk?

Athletics: After De Grasse exit, who can stop Bolt and Van Niekerk?

Bolt says this will be his final time running the 100 metres, and it will be fascinating to see whether the almost 31-year-old Jamaican can hit a walk-off shot by capturing his fourth world title in the 100 to go with his three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the event.

The 30-year-old is competing in his seventh and final World Championships, and recently clocked a season's-best time of 9.95 seconds in a Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

It was not revealed on which leg De Grasse suffered the torn hamstring, which happened in a Monday training run.

On De Grasse's Facebook page, he said: "Injuries are a part of the sport, and the timing of this one is especially unfortunate". I'm in the best shape of my life and I am extremely disappointed to know that I won't have the chance to represent my country in London.

Andre De Grasse's 2017 is done, as an injury has forced Canada's super sprinter to watch the remainder of the track season from the sidelines.

"I never knew that I am going to achieve records in one championship - all I wanted was to be 200-metre Olympic champion".

"So for me that really helped me get going again".

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Before the World Championships in Beijing in 2015, he had clocked 9.87.

The absence of De Grasse will boost their prospects, although Blake, if fully fit, has run 19.97 this year and has the world's second fastest time ever, 19.26, to his credit from 2011. De Grasse's withdrawal certainly made things easier for Bolt, who (per betting odds available from the online bookmaker Pinnacle) has gone from a -209 favourite before the De Grasse news broke to -280.

There exists a mutual respect between the two old rivals to the extent the Jamaican was horrified by the booing and jeering of the American prior to the 100m final in Rio past year, and then again at the medal ceremony.

Rudisha is out injured for the world championships, starting in London on Friday.

His target in London is clear - to sign off with a fourth 100m title and a fifth 4x100m relay gold - taking his world haul to 13 to add to his eight Olympic golds - and then head off to play football with his friends and have fun.

"I personally think he's a great athlete", said Bolt after Rio.

"I've just spent the day talking with what we call Athletics Connect, with people from 214 federations, talking about the big issues for our sport", Coe said.


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