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This was the unlikely and historic triumph of Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs in the 100 meters

2021-08-02T10:35:53.140Z

Italian 100-meter gold medalist Lamont Marcell Jacobs had been competing in the long jump until 2017 before shifting his focus solely to sprinting.



Glorious and surprising moments in Tokyo 2020 1:19

Tokyo (CNN) -

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs set a new European record with a shocking victory in the men's 100m at the Tokyo Olympics.

  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: live results and the new Olympic medals

Jacobs' winning time of 9.80 seconds on Sunday put him 0.04 seconds ahead of second-place American Fred Kerley and 0.09 seconds ahead of Canadian Andre De Grasse, third.

Jacobs celebrates gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

The triumph was the end of glorious minutes for Italy at the Olympic Stadium with Jacobs' victory shortly after Gianmarco Tamberi's gold medal in the high jump.

The two men embraced as Jacobs, the first Italian to win 100 meters of gold at the Olympics and the first European to do so since Britain's Linford Christie in 1992, crossed the finish line.

"It was my childhood dream to win an Olympics and obviously a dream can end up being something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true," said Jacobs, 26.

"I want to thank my family who have always supported me, my children and my mother, who has been my number one fan since I was a child, and my team that has followed me and those who support me."

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On a hot and humid afternoon in Tokyo, where the temperature hovered around 30 degrees Celsius, the race began under nervous circumstances when Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain was disqualified for a false start.

It turned out to be a stroke of luck for Jacobs, who had the slowest reaction time off the blocks, over half a second, during the first outing.

Jacobs, Kerley and De Grasse all set personal records in the final, and De Grasse added another bronze medal to the one he won at the Rio Olympics five years ago.

In the first men's 100-meter final since three-time champion Usain Bolt retired from track and field, Jacobs, whose time was 0.01 seconds faster than Bolt's in Rio, was an unlikely successor to the Jamaican.

He had been competing in the long jump until 2017 before shifting his focus solely to sprinting.

"I really didn't know anything about him. The first time I competed against him was in the Monaco Diamond League (in July)," Kerley later said of Jacobs.

"He did a fantastic job (here)."

Kerley had finished third in the US Olympic Trials in June, behind Trayvon Bromell, considered the favorite to win the pre-Olympics 100m title, and Ronnie Baker.

However, Bromell failed to qualify for the final in Tokyo and Baker finished fifth behind Akani Simbine from South Africa.

Jacobs (left) and Tamberi hug after the men's 100-meter final.

"I ran the race perfectly and got a silver medal. I can't complain," said Kerley.

"The race was a beautiful race. I got a PB (personal best) and a silver medal. I am lucky to be in the most important stage of my career."

On an eventful night in Tokyo, Tamberi shared the men's high jump gold medal with Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim.

The two men had identical records after surpassing 2.37 meters in the final, but neither could surpass 2.39.

Shortly before, Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas broke the world record for women's triple jump by 17 centimeters, sealing the gold medal with a distance of 15.67 meters.

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-08-02

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