Sprinter Andre De Grasse, a double medallist at the 2019 world track and field championships, didn’t qualify for the 60-metre final at the American Track League’s season-opening meet on Sunday in Fayetteville, Ark.
He was seventh of eight runners in his preliminary heat in 6.79 seconds but needed a top-three finish to advance.
Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru, the 2019 NCAA outdoor 100 champion, won the first heat in 6.70, followed by Omar McLeod in 6.73, the Arkansas alum from Jamaica and 2016 Olympic champion in 110 hurdles. American Demek Kemp was third, also in 6.73.
De Grasse ran a 6.60 personal-best on Feb. 7, 2015 to win at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York City.
Trayvon Bromell, his training partner in Florida, led a 1-2-3 sweep by the United States in the second heat on Sunday, stopping the clock in 6.58. Marvin Bracy and Brandon Carnes clocked 6.72 and 6.74, respectively.
Like De Grasse, Great Britain’s Adam Gemili — the 2019 world bronze medallist in the outdoor 100 — was seventh in his heat in 6.81.
Andre Ewers was the seventh qualifier and American Teammate Chris Belcher was awarded the eighth and final spot as a wild card.
Biggest test since 2019 worlds
Bromell, who won world bronze in 2015, broke from the field early in the final to post a winning time of 6.48, beating Oduduru (6.65) and Ewers (6.67).
The world and American record of 6.34 belongs to Christian Coleman, the reigning world outdoor 100 champion who was banned for two years last October and lost his chance to succeed Usain Bolt as the fastest man at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
De Grasse twice ran the 100 and 200 outdoors in Florida during the coronavirus pandemic last July and August but Sunday’s field was considered stronger and his stiffest test since worlds in Doha, Qatar, where the Markham, Ont., sprinter ran a 2019 season-best 9.90 for bronze in the 100 and 19.95 in a silver-medal performance in the 200.
WATCH | De Grasse runs 9.90 PB in 2019 world 100 final:
De Grasse, 26, won three medals at his 2016 Olympic debut in Rio before a pair of right hamstring injuries disrupted each of the next two seasons before he rebounded strongly in 2019.
Sunday’s event, which drew some of the top North American track and field athletes, began a four-week series at the University of Arkansas.
Ryan Crouser breaks world shot put record
Olympic champion Ryan Crouser broke the world indoor shot put record on Sunday with a throw of 22.82 metres on his first attempt to break Randy Barnes’ mark of 22.66 from Jan. 20, 1989. Crouser’s record is pending ratification.
The 28-year-old Crouser’s heave went so far that it nearly landed out of the area designed for the competition. He also had another toss that went 22.70.
“It’s a pretty good start to 2021,” Crouser said on ESPN. “I feel like there is more there.”
Crouser, who trains at Arkansas, will have a chance to break his own record next Sunday.
“First meet, first throw … usually it’s a rocky start. The consistency is pretty good,” Crouser said on the network broadcast. “For me, it’s a continuation to develop my throw. These are usually things I’d see in June or July.”
Crouser, who won world silver in 2019, is hoping to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo.