Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs claimed a shock gold in the Olympic 100m final.
Jacobs, who only switched away from long jump in 2018, streaked clear to win in 9.80 seconds, 0.04 clear of American Fred Kerley. Jacobs is favourite to take the men’s 200m title today (Wednesday).
Canada’s Andre de Grasse won a second successive Olympic bronze in third.
World champion Christian Coleman and Trayvon Bromell, the world’s fastest in 2021, were both absent from the final.
Coleman, banned for whereabouts failures after missing three drugs tests, and Bromell, eliminated in the semi-finals, were joined on the side lines by the long-retired defending champion Usain Bolt.
Few would have picked Jacobs as the Jamaican great’s successor; he only broke the 10-second barrier for the first time in May. Bolt predicted that no Jamaican men would do well at these Games and he was right; Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville were eliminated in the semis.
Jacobs was born in Texas to an American father but moved to his mother’s Italian homeland before his first birthday.
But the European indoor 60m champion carried the momentum from his fast start all the way to the line to register a time faster than Bolt’s winning mark in Rio.
He was greeted by compatriot Gianmarco Tamberi, who had won a joint high-jump gold just minutes before and wrapped him in the Italian flag and an embrace.
Italy have had much to celebrate recently after winning the European football championships and Eurovision Song Contest.
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