“Not Just a Guy Who Ran Against Usain Bolt”: Andre De Grasse Relates With Bolt Pressure on 18-Year-Old Erriyon Knighton

Published 05/22/2022, 10:15 AM EDT

Comparisons and rivalries are two of the most predominant aspects of competitions. Although rivalries are associated with healthy competitiveness in sports, the same is untrue for comparisons. Some athletes find it taxing when compared with someone else, irrespective of the other athlete’s status. Andre De Grasse made a similar observation when he spoke about being compared to Usain Bolt.

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The athlete also commented on the rivalry between him and the US sprinter, Erriyon Knighton. The 18-year-old sprinter clocked one of the fastest times in the 200m event at LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge. With this time, he has become the fourth fastest man in history, trailing just behind De Grasse.

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The new-found rivalry between De Grasse and Knighton

With just paces behind De Grasse, their rivalry has become quite apparent. Moreover, the Canadian sprinter has embraced their rivalry in a recent interview. Speaking to reporters on the eve of the Diamond League, De Grasse said, “I definitely look forward to competing against him. He’s younger than me, hopefully, I can compete with him a little bit longer.”

The Canadian sprinter competed in his second 100m event of the year at the Müller Birmingham meet. However, he came fourth in the race with a time of 10.24 seconds. Aaron Brown secured the first position with 10.13 seconds, marking his first win in the event at Diamond League. Yohan Blake came in second with 10.18, while his cousin Jerome Blake secured the third position by completing the event in 10.20 seconds.

Competing under the shadow of Usain Bolt

De Grasse acknowledged that his performance suffered while competing in the shadow of the Lightning Bolt. However, he has advised Knighton not to give in to distractions and not “think about the pressure.”

De Grasse said, “I wanted to be known just for me. Every time before I wanted the Olympic gold everyone would associate me with Usain Bolt.”

Furthermore, the athlete added, “I wanted to be just me. I think now that I’ve won gold medal it takes away that moment a little bit just to say ‘he’s a champion as well’ not just the guy who ran against Usain Bolt.”

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Andre de Grasse of Canada (L) and Usain Bolt of Jamaica (C) react as they compete in the Men’s 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“That’s something that I want to accomplish to remember my name and remember all the things I’ve done in the sport and know that I came out and was one of the best,” said De Grasse, expressing his desire to win gold at the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Oregon

Expounding on the effects of pressure on athletes, the sprinter said, “That puts a lot more pressure when people say that you’re the next Usain Bolt.

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WATCH THIS STORY- Usain Bolt’s Blunder in 2011 Left Rivals and Him Shocked as World’s Fastest Man Lost His Winning Streak

De Grasse has competed in numerous global meets and is well versed in the pressures associated with the sport. He has faced things that the upcoming star could only hope to face someday. Therefore, the advice he has imparted to the young athlete is priceless. And would help him at every turn of his career.

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Aklanta Chetia

182 articles

Aklanta Chetia Wanniang is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi. With an interest in learning about multiple sports, Aklanta himself is a former sportsperson and has participated in state and national level swimming events.

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