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Andre De Grasse sets Canadian record, will run for Olympic gold in men's 200m final

Aaron Brown also advances to Wednesday's final in Tokyo

Canada's Andre De Grasse reacts after finishing first in a men's 200-metre semifinal heat on Tuesday in Tokyo. De Grasse posted a new Canadian record and personal best time of 19.73 seconds.

Canada's Andre De Grasse reacts after finishing first in a men's 200-metre semifinal heat on Tuesday in Tokyo. De Grasse posted a new Canadian record and personal best time of 19.73 seconds.

Photo: Getty Images / Michael Steele

RCI

Andre De Grasse just keeps getting faster at the Olympics.

And now he's eyeing his second medal in Tokyo and the fifth of his Olympic career.

The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., burned up the Olympic Stadium track on Tuesday night, sprinting to a personal best and Canadian record in the 200-metre semifinal on a scorching evening in Tokyo.

His time of 19.73 seconds was the fastest of the night.

It's amazing. It's always great when you have a personal best. For me, I just want to go back out there and get on the podium. That's what matters to me the most. That's my mission for tomorrow, De Grasse told CBC Sports.

And he'll have Canadian company.

An overview shows, from left to right, Canada's Aaron Brown, Liberia's Joseph Fahnbulle and Noah Lyles of the U.S. crossing the finish line in their men's 200-metre semifinal heat on Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium. Brown won the heat in 19.99 seconds.

An overview shows, from left to right, Canada's Aaron Brown, Liberia's Joseph Fahnbulle and Noah Lyles of the U.S. crossing the finish line in their men's 200-metre semifinal heat on Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium. Brown won the heat in 19.99 seconds.

Photo: ae/afp via getty images / Antonin Thuillier

Brown, of Toronto, has been running strong and looking confident through his first two 200-metre races in Tokyo. 

In Rio five years ago, Brown placed 16th in the 200 metres and 31st in the 100 metres.

These Games, he decided to take the 100-metre race off to focus solely on being prepared for the 200-metre event. 

It's been working so far. 

I ran pretty relaxed, he said of Tuesday's semifinal sprint. 

Even though I had guys around me, I didn't let myself tighten up or stress myself. I think there's more there.

Brown also had praise for De Grasse, whom he's battled alongside for years.

He was going for it. I'm looking at this replay. He wanted that win. I know he was upset about his prelim. He said he got his nap in. Clearly he was rested, Brown said.

Final goes Wednesday

Now the waiting. Both Canadian men will take to the track Wednesday night in Japan for the marquee event — it goes at 9:55 p.m. in Tokyo, 8:55 a.m. ET in Canada. 

Just take your mind off of it. Don't want to get too fixated on it, Brown said.  

Don't want to be mentally fatigued. Throw on some Netflix. Watch some cartoons.

De Grasse has been here before. He thrives in these pressure-packed moments. He won silver in this event in Rio five years ago.

Now he wants to change the colour in Tokyo.

I just have to get a good treatment tonight. Get some good rest. Try to get more than seven or eight hours because last night I got like five or six, he said.

Get more sleep and be ready for tomorrow night.

Devin Heroux (new window) · CBC Sports ·

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