Canadian rising star Andre De Grasse insists he feels no pressure heading into next week’s World Championships, as he gears up to face the likes of Usain Bolt in the sprints.
The 20-year-old has been having a breakout season in which he raced his way to personal bests of 9.95 seconds and a Canadian Record of 19.88 seconds in the 200m.
On the back of those performances, De Grasse is now seen as a possible contender to challenge the likes of Bolt, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, among the others who will be in Beijing, but the sprint ace who recently did the double at the Pan American Games, remains grounded.
“My coach has told me I am young and the pressure is not really on me. It’s on Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin, those guys,” he said on the IAAF.org website.
“They have been doing it longer than me. She told me: ‘Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Take this as an experience to learn how to compete in front of 100,000 people.’
“And this is my first world championships so it’s not for me to try to put expectations on myself. I know a lot of people have.
“They did that at the Pan Am Games but I think I handled it well and I am going to continue to do what I keep doing.”
Besides his 9.95 PR, the NCAA champion over the 100m and 200m, has also dipped under the 10 seconds barrier two other times this season with legal wind readings (9.97 and 9.98), while producing a 9.75 secs performances with the help of a +2.7 m/s assisted wind.
De Grasse, who has been backed by Canadian sprint legends Bruny Surin and Donovan Bailey to do well at the World Championships, has also flashed to a very impressive 19.58 secs 200m time on the term, although that standard was assisted by a +2.4 m/s tail wind.