Canadian sprinters De Grasse, Brown cruise into 200-metre semifinal at worlds

DOHA, Qatar — Canadian sprinters Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown won their men’s 200-metre preliminary heats Sunday at the world track and field championships.

A day after racing to bronze in the men’s 100, De Grasse, from Markham, Ont., ran smoothly through the bend before coasting to a first-place finish in 20.20 seconds. Brown, from Toronto, finished his heat in 20.10 seconds.

Toronto’s Brendon Rodney finished third in his head in 20.38 seconds and will join De Grasse and Brown in Monday’s semifinal.

The final will take place Tuesday.

De Grasse and Brown are considered strong medal contenders in the event, which lost one of its elite competitors when American Chris Coleman withdrew from Sunday’s preliminaries.

Coleman told The Associated Press that he needed a break after sprinting to victory in Saturday’s 100-metre final.

In women’s pole vault, medal hopeful Alysha Newman of Delaware, Ont., put in a solid performance before settling for fifth when she missed all three of her attempts at 4.85 metres.

Edmonton’s Marco Arop successfully used an aggressive strategy to advance to Tuesday’s final of the men’s 800 metres. Arop rushed out to an early lead and hung on to claim second place in his heat in a time of one minute 45.07 seconds.

Brandon McBride of Windsor, Ont., was fourth in his semifinal heat and did not advance.

Also Sunday, Toronto’s Crystal Emmanuel finished seventh in her women’s 100-metre semifinal and did not advance to the final.

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