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De Grasse dips under 20 seconds to take 200 metres at Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix

As expected, six-time Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse appears to be nearing peak form a few weeks from the athletics competition at the Paris Games.

The Markham, Ont., sprinter dipped below 20 seconds over 200 metres for the first time this season, clocking 19.98 for the win on a hot, dry and calm Tuesday evening at the Gyulai István Memorial — Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix in Székesfehérvár.

De Grasse’s previous best this season was 20.09 at the Ostrava Golden Spike on May 28 in the Czech Republic.

The 29-year-old ran under 20 seconds in the final two races of his 2023 campaign — Diamond League events in Brussels (19.89) and the Final at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., where he went 19.76. De Grasse’s wind-legal personal best is 19.62 from his 2021 Olympic final victory in Tokyo.

“I’m feeling like my old self again. I’m starting to get back my speed,” the world’s sixth-ranked 200m runner said two weeks ago in Montreal, where he won a Canadian title in the 100 in 10.20 following a 10.00 season best on June 18 in Turku, Finland.

WATCH | De Grasse clocks season-best 19.98 seconds over 200m:

Andre De Grasse dominant in 200m win in Hungary

Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., posted a time of 19.98 to win the men’s 200-metre race at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. Fellow Canadian Jerome Blake was 5th.

De Grasse plans to race the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay in Paris.

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“Every Olympic Games are different but … I’m just going to go out there, remain focused, and remember all the things that got me there,” he said in a news release recently.

Andrew Hudson of Jamaica was second in Tuesday’s race in 20.37, followed by American Kendal Williams (20.52). Jerome Blake of Kelowna, B.C., placed fifth in the eight-man field in 20.56.

De Grasse looked solid on the bend and took control at the top of the straightaway, pulling away from Hudson over the final 70 to 80 metres for a four-metre victory.

Hudson, 27, is no slouch. The world No. 10 delivered a 20.02 SB to finish second at the Jamaican championships on June 30.

He was second to De Grasse in Ostrava and placed eighth in the final at the World Athletics Championships last August in Budapest, Hungary.

WATCH | De Grasse runs 20.09 to defeat Hudson in Ostrava:

Andre De Grasse doubles up at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet with a 200m win

Andre De Grasse caps a perfect day at the Ostrava Golden Spike event, with a 200-metre victory in a season’s best time of 20.09 seconds.

13th straight win for Katzberg

Ethan Katzberg also remains in winning form 26 days from the men’s Olympic hammer throw final.

He earned his ninth victory in as many competitions this season, with a 81.87-metre throw at Tuesday’s World Athletics Continental Tour Gold track and field meet.

The Nanaimo, B.C., athlete has won 13 events in a row, including his qualifying event at 2023 worlds, dating to a second-place performance last June 18 at the Czeslaw Cybulski Memorial in Poznan, Poland.

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Katzberg, 22, is the world’s top-ranked men’s thrower and will compete as an Olympian for the first time next month.

He won a world championship silver medal two years ago in Birmingham, England before reaching the top of the medal podium at last year’s worlds.

Katzberg also collected Pan Am Gold last November in Santiago, Chile, repeated as Canadian champion two weeks ago and boasts the national record throw for men at 84.38.

Ukraine’s Mykhalo Kokhan finished second on Tuesday with a throw of 80.50 ahead of Poland’s Wojciech Nowicki (79.36).

WATCH | Katzberg rules hammer throw in Hungary with 81.87m toss:

B.C.’s Ethan Katzberg wins hammer throw in Hungary

Reigning world champion Ethan Katzberg of Nanaimo, B.C., won the men’s hammer throw competition at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.

Meanwhile, Vancouver runner Kieran Lumb, who was initially entered in the men’s 3,000 on Tuesday, decided to withdraw and focus on his training ahead of his Olympic debut in the 1,500.

The 25-year-old told CBC Sports he will run “a few” 800m races this month in Belgium.

Lumb won a second straight Canadian title in the 1,500 to solidify his spot on the Olympic team, prevailing over Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, who will make his second Summer Games appearance and first since 2016 in Rio.

WATCH | Full coverage of Gyulai István Memorial — Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix:

2024 World Athletics Continental Tour: Szekesfehervar

Watch the world’s top track and field stars compete at the World Athletics stop in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.

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Shericka Jackson injured in women’s 200m?

World 200-metre champion and Olympic favourite Shericka Jackson pulled up with an apparent injury late in Tuesday’s race.

The Jamaican standout was in front and nearing the finish line when she suddenly shut it down. Jackson appeared to be in discomfort as she walked off the track in a race won by Julien Alfred of Saint Lucia.

Jackson has the second-fastest time ever in the event.

The Jamaicans are already missing Elaine Thompson-Herah for the Paris Games. The two-time reigning Olympic 100 and 200 champion recently said she has a small tear in her Achilles tendon.

Jackson is responsible for three of the four fastest times ever run in the women’s 200. Her top time of 21.41 seconds was set on her way to winning gold at worlds last summer. She’s edging closer and closer to breaking the record held by Florence Griffith Joyner, who went 21.34 at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Jackson, who turns 30 next week, also is expected to give American rival Sha’Carri Richardson a challenge in the 100.

WATCH | Jackson captures women’s 200m at Stockholm Diamond League in June:

Sherika Jackson claims the 200-metre Diamond League title in Stockholm

Jamaica’s Sherika Jackson ran to a season-best time of 22.69 Sunday to take the Diamond League Stockholm 200-metre title.

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