De Grasse wins again; Oliver makes golden Pan Am debut

Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:41pm EDT
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By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian sprinting sensation Andre De Grasse won his second Pan American Games gold medal in three days but it was the United States that dominated the athletics competition on Friday.

De Grasse, two days removed from winning the marquee men's 100 meters final, delivered a stellar performance in the 200m final as he crossed in 19.88 seconds to break his own national record and set a Pan Am Games mark.

"Last night all I needed was some rest. Once I got the rest, and I woke up this morning, I felt great," said De Grasse. "I can't believe I did it. Somehow I just managed to pull it off. I'm really happy about this."

While De Grasse delivered yet another sprinting title for the host nation, it was the United States who stole the show in athletics as they won four out of the nine gold medals handed out on Friday.

American world champion David Oliver, who took a pass on a more prestigious Diamond League meet in London to compete in his first Pan Am Games, won the men's 110m hurdles final, but not before having to run the distance twice.

Oliver did not hear the officials call a false start on Cuba's Yordan O'Farrill and so sprinted full-out to the finish line along with another runner, only to wait 30-minutes before doing it all over again.

In his second attempt, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist smashed the Pan Am Games record, which he had set as a goal, with a time of 13.07 seconds.

"I am used to doing repeat 110's at practice, so I said 'it would be like training' and stayed focused," said Oliver. "When they said we had to go again, I was like 'alright, let's just strap it up and let's get ready to rock!"   Continued...

Jul 24, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; David Oliver of the United States wins the men's athletics 110m hurdles final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports