Trayvon Bromell continues to demonstrate he’ll be the man to defeat in the 100 meters at the Tokyo Olympics.
The American sprinter won for the sixth time in seven races in the event this season, clocking 9.98 seconds on a cool Tuesday evening at the Müller British Grand Prix for his first Diamond League triumph of 2021 before about 2,000 fans in Gateshead, England.
Bromell, 26, was fresh off a 10.01 performance at Diamond League Monaco on Friday and has a world-leading time of 9.77 this campaign.
Chijindu Ujah was second in Tuesday’s race in 10.10, followed by fellow Brit and European champion Zharnel Hughes (10.13) in a photo finish over Canada’s Andre De Grasse (10.13) and Fred Kerley (10.13) of the United States.
De Grasse placed fourth for the second consecutive race after running 10-flat in Monaco.
He has now run over 10 seconds four times in seven races this season. The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., has yet to lower a 9.99 second best from his outdoor opener on April 17 in Gainesville, Fla., but De Grasse tends to shine on the biggest stage.
Bromell has won two of three showdowns this season versus De Grasse, whom he battled during his college days in the NCAA. In April, Bromell posted a convincing victory in 9.88 over runner-up De Grasse (10.05) at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville.
De Grasse will be in tough in Tokyo as seven men, including Bromell, fellow American Ronnie Baker (9.85) and Kerley (9.86), have run faster in 2021 than his 9.90 personal best from a silver-medal performance at the 2019 world championships.
With Christian Coleman suspended and barred from the Olympics, Akani Simbine is also one to watch. The 27-year-old South African ran a season-best 9.84 last week in Budapest, Hungary after winning a Diamond League event on June 10 in Florence, Italy. The first round of the Olympic 100 is programmed for July 31 at National Stadium in Tokyo. The semifinals will be held the following day along with the final, slated for 9 a.m. ET.