100 meters Olympic gold for Italy: Lamont Marcell Jacobs

100 meters Olympic gold for Italy: Lamont Marcell Jacobs

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Lamont Marcell Jacobs won a stunning 100 meters race for men at the Tokyo Olympics. The Italian took his chance after qualifying with being the fastest loser in the semi-final after coming third in 9.84 behind Su Bingtan of China and Ronnie Baker of America. Therefore, a surprise gold medalist for the majority of pundits.

However, his time of 9.84 in the semi-final showed that he was in great shape. Indeed, it seemed that Su and Baker couldn’t recover to the same degree after both ran 9.83 in the semi-final with Jacobs only 0.01 behind in 9.84. Thus, the Italian recovered from such an amazing semi-final heat much better than Su and Baker in the final.

The victory of Jacobs, who broke a new European record of 9.80 in the final, brought back memories of past European winners of the coveted Olympic 100 meters. Hence, the ghosts of past European winners came to mind. This concerns Harold Abrahams (1924), Armin Hary (Germany 1960), Valeriy Borzov (Soviet Union 1972), Alan Wells (1980), and Linford Christie (1992). 

It is hoped that Jacobs will inspire other European sprinters to up their game and challenge for the coveted 100 meters at future Olympics. Out of the nine Olympic finals between 1960 and 1992, Europeans won this race four times out of nine. Therefore, it is hoped that Jacobs will inspire Europeans to enter the sprinting mix again.

Jacobs won the final in a time of 9.80 from the American Fred Kerley, who ran 9.84. The graceful Andre de Grasse of Canada won bronze after running 9.89. All six runners who finished the race broke the 10.00-second barrier. 

The BBC says, “Few would have picked Jacobs, who was born in Texas to an American father but moved to his mother’s Italian homeland before his first birthday.”

Kerley ran a great race. The world will see more of this gifted athlete. However, near the end of the race, Jacobs pulled away and took the acclaimed gold for Italy.

Jacobs, said, “It’s a dream, a dream, it is fantastic.”

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