Athletics - Canada's De Grasse pulls out of Commonwealth Games

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Jamaica International Invitationals IWC Meet - men's 200m - National Stadium, Kingston, Jamaica - 20/5/17 - Andre De Grasse of Canada gestures. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy

(Reuters) - Canadian triple Olympic sprint medallist Andre De Grasse has withdrawn from next month's Commonwealth Games to concentrate on his fitness for the outdoor season, he said on Friday.

"The Commonwealth Games was going to be a great opportunity to display my talents to a passionate fan base in Australia," De Grasse said in a statement.

"I wouldn’t want to go in there at any less than my best and for that reason we have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the games."

The multi-sport games are scheduled for the Gold Coast of Australia from April 4-15, which is typically earlier than most sprinters start their seasons.

De Grasse, 23, was silver medallist in the 200 metres at the 2016 Rio Olympics and won bronze in the 100 metres and 4x100 metres relay. He missed the 2017 world championships after suffering a hamstring injury in training.

The injury has healed and De Grasse is 100 percent healthy, but he is not where he wants to be from a fitness standpoint.

"My team and I feel like this is the best decision for the long term," De Grasse said. "I will now train hard through the spring to be ready for a strong and full outdoor season."

He plans to run a 100 metres race at the Drake Relays in late April.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond)