Canadian Andre De Grasse found himself one step back in his season-opening race on Friday.
The Markham, Ont., native placed fourth in the 200 meters at the Diamond League opener in Doha, Qatar.
It’s the same event in which De Grasse won his only Olympic gold medal last summer in Tokyo.
But a new season brought new history, with reigning world champion Noah Lyles (19.72 seconds) edging out Fred Kerley (19.75) to claim victory on a day when times were not deemed legal by the wind. The American pair separated from the rest of the field, well ahead of De Grasse and Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago, whose time of 20.142 seconds barely held off De Grasse at 20.146.
“I feel like I’m getting back in shape,” De Grasse said. “My goal for the world championships [in Oregon in July] is to get a medal.”
WATCH | De Grasse finishes 4th over 200m:
Fellow Canadians Aaron Brown, of Brampton, Ont., and Jerome Blake, of Burnaby, BC, were fifth (20.18) and sixth (20.25), respectively.
De Grasse set the Canadian distance record in Tokyo with his time of 19.62.
In addition to that gold, De Grasse also helped Canada to silver (after Great Britain was disqualified for doping) in the 4x100m and won individual bronze in the 100m in Tokyo. He also placed second in the Diamond League finals in the 100m and 200m to cap what he called his “greatest season ever”.
WATCH | Canadian athletics on the rise:
Arop 3rd on 800m
Meanwhile, Canadian Marco Arop started his season on the right foot, finishing third in the men’s 800m.
Arop, of Edmonton, spent much of the race biding his time on the outside, before making his move after the point guard left the track.
It seemed to work as the Canadian found himself in second place down the stretch, but he was passed by Australian Peter Bol.
Kenyan Noah Kibet won the race in 1:49.08, ahead of Bol in 1:49.35. Arop, who finished 14th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo, rounded out the top three with a time of 1:49.51.
WATCH | Arop ranks 3rd over 800m:
Canadian Django Lovett notched his own third place in the high jump.
The Surrey, B.C. native cleared a season-best 2.27-metres, just three-tenths off his Tokyo Olympic height of 2.30-metres, earning him eighth place.
The Chinese Sanghyeok Woo won the event by clearing a height of 2.33 meters.
For more athletics coverage and analysis, stream CBC Sports Presents: Diamond League Track & Field Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for TV broadcast times.
The Diamond League season resumes next Saturday, with coverage from Birmingham, England starting at 9 a.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.