Athletics Canadian sprinter talks exclusively with MARCA Claro
ABOUTne lengthy images of the Rio Olympics – Usain Bolt, talking to Andre de Gras (Ontario, Canada, 1994), as they finish their semifinal within 200 meters, which could be read as passing the torch to the men's lightweight athletics.
But injuries have cut De Grasse's last two seasons, but Canadian athlete says in an interview with MARCA Claro after opening a Puma store in Mexico that he expects it to be a minor failure, trying to match the label of the Next Usain Bolt.
It has been two difficult years for you, with protracted injuries that have kept you most of the time. How is your recovery and when are you going back?
It was a tough season last year, but I just want to put it behind and focus next year. My rehabilitation went very well, I beat the ball. For me, this will soon be back to learning. I will start training in November to prepare for the World Cup and the Circuit Diamond League. Circuit will probably try to do a couple of indoor meetings first to return to the fitness center and then prepare for the open season.
Difficult season is professional, but in your personal life he was good, you are now father. How does fatherhood relate to you?
Good. My daughter is now three months old, it was a transition. It was a bit difficult, not used to it, being a father for the first time, but it was fun. I like her, she smiles all the time, this is just a great motivation for me to move forward, because she will see me, she will get a chance to see me at the world championships or at the Olympics. I look forward to it.
This season, Chris Coleman spent 9.79 in Belgium. What do you think about it, watching from the side? Are you more motivated to come back and try to beat your time?
It was complicated. We have a lot of guys working fast, but I know when I get back into shape, I will try to compete with them. I look forward to that. This is a big motivation for me, because these guys work very fast, and I know that I can run just as fast. I just need to go there and prove it, like in the Olympics.
Usain Bolt was the face of athletics and Puma's face. Now you are the face of the Puma and are trying to fill his shoes in sports. Do you feel additional pressure due to this “new bolt”?
No, I'm just trying to be myself. This is a bit of pressure, but I like it. I have fun with him, I like to be in noise, to wait for this pressure. For me, I had a great season after the Olympic Games, but then the injury just brought me back. I think this is just a small setback for a serious return for me. I think that next year I will work very well.
You talked about the Olympics, but first – the world championship next year in Doha. What is your goal for next year in Qatar?
I definitely want a medal. I want to interrupt my personal victory, try to break the Canadian record. I think that I am capable of this, I just need to return to the form of fitness that was in 2016, and if I can do it, I will make all my dreams come true.
Do you think you can break the record of Usain Bolt?
It's hard. Usain Bolt is a great guy, an amazing runner. It will definitely be difficult to break 9.58 (at 100 m) and even 19.19 (at 200 m). For me, I just try my best to persist every day, stay motivated, have confidence and, I hope, one day I will be able to break It.
Tokyo 2020 – in two years. Think you can improve what you did in Rio 2016, where you got three medals?
I just want to try and update these medals. I won two bronze medals and a silver medal, so hopefully I will try to go and win the gold medal. This is the only thing I lack for the Olympics. For me, it's just hard work, keep pushing, and I can try to make my dreams come true.
Do you think you could win the final at last year's world championships in the final race of Bolt?
I feel that I could. I worked very well, before that I worked very quickly. I know it's hard to say, because it's wind, weather, but I think that I would have a big chance to compete with these guys and try to win the gold medal.
Youth Olympic Games are taking place now in Argentina. What message can you give to a child who, 15, 16n, and most of them are going through their first big international competition?
I think for them, just believe in yourself. I remember when these were my first international games, I just went there and just tried to have so much pleasure that I represented my country as best I could. For them, just believe in your own, have fun and leave everything on the track.
Last: A couple of months ago, Aaron Rogers asked what he would do if he were the NFL Commissioner. What would you do if you were the head of the IAAF? What would you play in this sport?
I think we need a lot more meetings. There are not many meetings in North America, there are many in Europe, but we do not have many meetings in North America, Mexico, Canada or the USA. Just try putting more competitions here, so we don’t need to go that far.