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Andre De Grasse Sets Canadian Record, And Almost Beats Usain Bolt At Rio Semi-Final

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Star sprinter Andre De Grasse set a Canadian record in the men's 200 metres to advance to the event's final at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.

De Grasse, from Markham, Ont., finished neck-and-neck with reigning champion Usain Bolt of Jamaica.

The Canadian finished in 19.80 seconds, besting his own record of 19.88 seconds set at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

Bolt finished slightly ahead of De Grasse in 19.78 on Wednesday night.

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Usain Bolt laughs with Andre De Grasse after they compete in the men's 200m semi-final, Aug. 17, 2016. (Photo: Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images)

Toronto's Aaron Brown did not advance to the 200-metre final after finishing his heat in seventh.

Damian Warner of London, Ont., is third in the decathlon behind American world record-holder Ashton Eaton and Germany's Kai Kazmirek after five events.

The world silver medallist has 4,489 points, while Eaton, the reigning Olympic champion, has 4,621 points. Kazmirek is second with 4,500.

Warner opened with an Olympic-best time of 10.30 seconds in the 100 metres, the first event in the 10-discipline competition.

He finished second in his group in the long jump, leaping 7.67 metres on his third attempt, then threw 13.66 metres in the shot put, finishing 11th in his group, but remaining in second behind Eaton.

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Andre de Grasse and Usain Bolt react as they compete, on Aug. 17, 2016. (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Warner cleared a season's best 2.04 metres in the high jump.

He then finished his 400-metre heat in 47.35 seconds to slip behind Kazmirek in the overall standings. All three leaders were in the same heat, with Eaton (46.07) finishing first, followed by Kazmirek (46.75) and then Warner.

The decathlon concludes on Thursday.

On the track, Melissa Bishop of Eganville, Ont., qualified for the semis with the best time in the women's 800-metre heats of one minute 58.38 seconds.

Phylicia George of Markham, Ont., secured a spot in the 100-metre hurdles final, by crossing second in her semifinal, while Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., tripped over the second to last hurdler and crashed hard to the track.

Matthew Hughes of Oshawa, Ont., finished 11th in the men's 3,000 metre steeplechase final with a time of 8:36.83.

Mo Ahmed of St. Catharines, Ont., qualified for Saturday's final in the men's 5,000 metres, finishing sixth with a time of 13:21.00. Luc Bruchet of Vancouver finished 37th with a time of 14:02.02 and did not advance.

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Canadian Medallists at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
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