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Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse made it back-to-back victories in the men’s 100 metres at the Bislett Games, clocking a season-best 10.01 seconds to top Thursday’s eight-man field in Oslo.
The Canadian, who won Olympic bronze in the 100 in Rio de Janeiro last summer, crossed the line in 10.07 a year ago at the Diamond League meet in Norway.
De Grasse, 22, entered Thursday’s race with a season best of 10.10, set in mid-May at the Guadeloupe International Meeting, where he placed second.
In Oslo, the Markham, Ont., runner stayed at or near the front of the pack early on and finished strong in a tightly contested race on a comfortable, dry night with a slight breeze at Bislett Stadium.
De Grasse has continued to lower his time in the 100 since opening the outdoor season with a 10.22 performance at Diamond League Doha in Qatar.
Another look at @De6rasse crossing the line with a win in #OsloDL pic.twitter.com/HfjnkzVW4a
Next up for De Grasse is the 100 this Sunday at a Diamond League event in Stockholm.
“I’m looking forward to running sub-10 [seconds] there,” De Grasse said after Thursday’s race.
Chijindu Ujah of Great Britain and Ben Youssef Meïté of the Ivory Coast ran 10.02 and 10.03, both season bests, to round out the podium Thursday.
Canada’s Aaron Brown was fifth in 10.15, also a season best. The Toronto native’s previous best for 2017 was 10.30 at the Grenada Invitational in St. George’s on April 8.
“It’s great competition for both of us,” said De Grasse of Brown, with whom he won Olympic relay bronze in Rio. “It’s going to prepare us for [the Canadian track and field championships] in a couple of weeks [in Ottawa], so I’m looking forward to racing him there, and from there working together to run the 4×100 relay in London [at the world championships in August].”
André de Grasse soaks up the atmosphere with a victory lap after moving top of the standings in the #RoadToTheFinal #OsloDL pic.twitter.com/3vNxF0mzvL
Elsewhere, Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., was fifth of 11 in the women’s 800. She stopped the clock in one minute 59.89 seconds, three weeks after a sixth-place finish (1:59.52) in Bishop’s outdoor season debut at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.
She set a national record of 1:57.02 in the event at Rio, missing the podium by 0.13 seconds.
Fellow Canadian Derek Drouin tied for third in Oslo in men’s high jump, clearing 2.25 metres before missing all three attempts at 2.29. It was an improvement from Diamond League Shanghai a month ago, where the Sarnia, Ont., native failed to clear the bar at 2.20 and finished the event without a successful attempt.
“My expectations for Oslo are to feel like I’m trending positively,” said Drouin, the 2016 Olympic champion, in an email to CBC Sports before Thursday’s competition. “I’d like to see the principles I’ve worked on in practice show in my performance this week. Obviously I would like to clear high bars but execution is more important than anything.”
Teammate Mike Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., was fifth on Thursday. He cleared 2.25 on his second attempt and then missed all three tries at 2.29. Mason jumped a season-best 2.30 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on April 15.
Pole vaulter Alysha Newman was the other Canadian competing in Oslo. After clearing the bar at 4.20 and 4.40, the former hurdler from London, Ont., was successful on her third and final attempt at 4.55 before missing all three tries at 4.65.
At the recent adidas Boost Boston Games, the 22-year-old Newman cleared 4.60 to win the event, defeating former Olympic champion and U.S. record holder Jenn Suhr, 35.
Like De Grasse, Bishop and Newman will compete this weekend in Sweden along with sprinter Crystal Emmanuel of Scarborough, Ont.
Emmanuel, 25, will race the women’s 200 after running a season-best 22.86 on March 30 to finish second in a field of 71 at the Florida Relays in Gainesville.
Last Saturday, she set a meet record in the women’s 100 at the Aileen Meagher Track Classic in Halifax, where Emmanuel’s time of 11.26 topped last year’s record run of 11.47 by Arialis Gandulla of Cuba.
CBC Sports is providing live streaming coverage of all 14 Diamond League meets this season at CBCSports.ca and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. TV coverage will be featured as part of the network’s Road To The Olympic Games weekend broadcasts throughout the season.
The following is a list of upcoming Diamond League meets on CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app: