A long time ago than it seems, the athletics competition at the Olympic Games was the spectacle in which the great Usain Bolt proved to be the fastest man in the world. But those days are now over: After his resignation at the end of the 2017 season, Bolt left a vacuum at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which is now being filled by Lamont Marcell Jacobs from Italy.
Jacobs won the men’s 100m final on Sunday with a time of 9.80 – the fastest time ever run by a European 100m athlete – ousting Fred Kerley from the United States and Andre de Grasse from Canada for gold medal. Jacobs is the first man not named Usain Bolt since 2004, when Justin Gatlin of the United States was the last winner before Bolt’s threesome at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Jacobs is the first Italian to win the event and improves his personal best by more than two tenths. Jacobs’ previous best was a 3/10.
The 100-meter final required two runs, as the first attempt saw a false start by the Briton Zharnel Hughes. Hughes was disqualified after his false start and prematurely ended his efforts to win. Enoch Adegoke of Nigeria also dropped out and was credited with a DNF.
Jacobs’ personal background is interesting as he was born in El Paso, Texas to an American father and an Italian mother before growing up in Desenzano del Garda. This is Jacobs’ third win this year as he also took gold at the European Indoor Championships in Torun and at the International Savona Meeting in Italy.
Men’s 100 meter final results
1. Lamont Marcell Jacobs (Italy) – 9.80
2. Fred Kerley (United States) – 9.84
Andre de Grasse (Canada) – 9.89
4. Akani Simbine (South Africa) – 9.93
5. Ronnie Baker (USA) – 9.95
6. Bingtian Su (China) -9.98
7. Enoch Adegoke (Nigeria) – DNF
8. Zharnel Hughes (Great Britain) – DQ
Jacobs’ victory marked an outstanding day for the Italians in athletics as his compatriot Gianmarco Tamberi shared a gold medal in the men’s high jump with Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim. In the women’s triple jump, Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela set a new world record, winning the gold medal over a distance of 15.67 meters.