Olympics: Lamont Marcell Jacobs becomes the new 100m king with glory for Italy

Three weeks ago the sharpest casinos in Las Vegas, who know a thing or two about setting odds and plenty more besides, rated Lamont Marcell Jacobs as a 30-1 underdog to claim an Olympic 100m gold medal.

  • Silver for Fred Kerley and bronze for Andre De Grasse
  • Britain’s Zharnel Hughes disqualified after false start

Yet on a balmy and steadily more barmy Tokyo evening, they joined everyone else in being blindsided by a tattooed 26-year-old from Rome who inked his name permanently in the record books.

After Jacobs had powered to glory in 9.80sec, a European record, he unleashed a primordial roar and flexed his biceps, macho-man style. But it was his legs, and nerves, that made his impossible dream come true. This was the Italian’s first global final. But it was impossible to tell from his calm demeanour at the start, or by the way he tracked the American Fred Kerley before rushing past him like a bullet train 20 metres before the finish line.

Kerley, who took silver in 9.84, admitted later that he “really didn’t know anything” about the man on his inside. He was not alone. Andre De Grasse, who added another 100m bronze medal to his collection, admitted he never expected the Italian to go so quickly.


Story first published on The Guardian

To read the full story, please click on this link.


The Guardian