Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs Wins Tokyo Olympics 100 Meters

Sunday - 01/08/2021 15:25
Lamont Marcell Jacobs edged American Fred Kerley for gold. CAMERON SPENCER/GETTY IMAGES
Lamont Marcell Jacobs edged American Fred Kerley for gold. CAMERON SPENCER/GETTY IMAGES
Lamont Marcell Jacobs won a closely contested Tokyo Olympics men’s 100 meters on Sunday, becoming the first Italian to capture the title of world’s fastest man.

Lamont Marcell Jacobs won a closely contested Tokyo Olympics men’s 100 meters on Sunday, becoming the first Italian to capture the title of world’s fastest man. 

The 26-year-old Jacobs ran alongside the American Fred Kerley before outleaning him at the end, finishing in 9.80.

“It was my childhood dream to win an Olympics Games and obviously a dream can turn into something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true,” Jacobs said.

Kerley, a first-time Olympian who finished third in the U.S. Olympic trials, won silver in a personal-best time of 9.84. Canada’s Andre de Grasse was third in 9.89, winning his second consecutive bronze in the event.

Jacobs, ranked No. 8 in the world in the event, became the first Italian man to win a medal of any color in the 100 meters. The race has been dominated by Americans historically and recently by Usain Bolt. The Jamaican had won the previous three Olympic golds in the event before retiring before these Games.

Jacobs’s win came just after Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy shared the gold medal in the men’s high jump with Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar after the men cleared the same height and agreed to a tie rather than have a jump-off.

Olympic Stadium was nearly empty due to a no-spectators precaution to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but Olympic-team athletes and officials were allowed inside. That made the small but spirited crowd of Italians loudly audible as they cheered the history-making double.
 

Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy celebrates after winning gold in the 100 meters. PHOTO: ANDREW BOYERS/REUTERS
Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy celebrates after winning gold in the 100 meters.
PHOTO: ANDREW BOYERS/REUTERS
 


Tamberi, who was waiting just past the 100-meter finish line, hugged Jacobs after his win.

“We all know his story–he could have won in Rio (2016) but he had an injury,” Jacobs said. “But being here together is something spectacular. I believe in him and believed in myself.”

Jacobs was born to an Italian mother in El Paso, Texas, and moved to Italy as a child. He originally planned to follow his father into basketball before deciding to focus on athletics, according to the Tokyo Olympics website. 

South Africa’s Akani Simbine, a second-time Olympian who finished fifth in the men’s 100 in 2016, finished fourth in 9.93. Ronnie Baker, the other American in the race, finished fifth in 9.95. 

China’s Su Bingtian finished sixth in 9.98, becoming just the second Asian-born man to ever reach the Olympic 100-meter final. Previously, the only Asian man to compete in it was Japan’s Takayoshi Yoshioka in 1932, according to Olympic historian Bill Mallon. Yoshioka finished sixth. 

Great Britain’s ​​Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start. Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke pulled up with an apparent injury and did not finish. 

American Trayvon Bromell, whose mark of 9.77 was the fastest in the world this year entering Sunday, failed to qualify for the final. He made a strong start in his semifinal race, but was overtaken by Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain and Enoch Adegoke of Nigeria. 

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bromell reached the 100-meter final and finished eight despite nagging heel pain. But he suffered an Achilles injury during the 4×100 relay and left the 2016 Rio Olympics track in a wheelchair. 

He underwent two surgeries on the Achilles and suffered other injuries but rebounded to win the Olympic trials in a time of 9.80. On Sunday he ran a 10.0 in the semifinal.

Write to Rachel Bachman at Rachel.Bachman@wsj.com

Lamont Marcell Jacobs not only won the 100-meter final, but also set a European record for the distance. PHOTO: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
Lamont Marcell Jacobs not only won the 100-meter final, but also set a European record for the distance.
PHOTO: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
 Keywords: The Olympics

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