Lamont Marcell Jacobs. Photo credit: CNN International.
Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs pulled a surprise by claiming Olympic gold in the men’s 100 metres on Sunday, breaking retired Jamaican star Usain Bolt’s 13-year hold on the event.
The 26-year-old Jacobs timed a European record of 9.80 seconds, with American Fred Kerley taking silver in 9.84sec in one of the most understated major championship 100m races of recent times.
Canada’s Andre de Grasse, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, repeated the feat in 9.89sec.
However, Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke who also qualified for the final failed to finish the race after getting an injury.
The athletes were introduced in a dramatic light show — the stadium floodlights were shut off and 12 projectors cast 3D images of the world, zooming in to the Tokyo skyline, and then the name of each sprinter.
The lights came back on, swiftly followed by a horrendous false start for Zharnel Hughes in lane four, the Anguilla-born Briton not even bothering to question his disqualification.
Dressed in light blue singlet and lycra shorts, the US-born Jacobs, in lane three, made a good start, held his nerve through the drive phase and powered through to the line.
Jacobs joyously ran into the arms of Italian teammate Gianmarco Tamberi, who had just shared gold in the men’s high jump and was waiting at the finish line.