Lamont Marcell Jacobs wins gold, Fred Kerley of the United States wins the silver, and Canadian Andre de Grasse takes the bronze.
Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs won the men’s 100-meter gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, breaking the 13-year-old take on Jamaican star Usain Bolt in retirement at the event.
Jacobs, 26, clocked a European record of 9.80 seconds, with American Fred Kerley taking the silver in 9.84 seconds in one of the most important 100-meter races of recent times.
Canadian Andre de Grasse, bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Games, repeated the fact in 9.89 seconds.
Athletes were introduced to a dramatic light show – the stadium’s projectors were turned off and 12 projectors launched 3D images of the world, zooming in on the Tokyo skyline, and then the name of each sprinter.
The lights came on again, followed immediately by a horrible false start for Zharnel Hughes in lane four, the Anguilla-born Briton didn’t even bother to question his disqualification.
Dressed in a light blue single and lycra shorts, the US-born Jacobs on track three made a good start, held his nerve through the driving phase and fed up to the line.
Jacobs ran happily in the arms of his Italian teammate Gianmarco Tamberi, who had just shared the gold in the men’s high jump and was waiting at the finish line.
The race, conducted at a suffocating temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (84 Fahrenheit), had a clearly subdued increase and feels like hot favorite Trayvon Bromell bombed out of the semifinals in which China’s Bingtian and Jacobs were unexpected Asia and European Records respectively.
The Tokyo Olympics are the first since Athens in 2004 to take place without Bolt, who has won three consecutive 100-meter Olympic titles in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, as well as three 200-meter straight crowns.
And for the first time since the 2000 Sydney Games, there was no Jamaican in the final, former Bolt teammate Yohan Blake failing to qualify for his semi-final.
The field was instead filled with a raft of relatively unknown sprinters, with Jacobs ’main claim to fame being a 60m indoor European title earlier this year.
The 100m in Tokyo, and the circus around it, was undoubtedly a pale imitation of Bolt’s glory years during which the charismatic Jamaican not only dominated the sprints but also captivated a truly global audience.
While the spectacle that Bolt brought to the blue belt event has been lacking since his retirement in 2017, so has also been the emergence of a new generation of sprint hopes.
Many have been praised as athletes for filling Bolt peaks, but none have even lived up to the considerable weight of expectation.
In addition, the 68,000-capacity Olympic Stadium in Tokyo did not attract typhus enthusiasts due to coronavirus restrictions in the Japanese capital.
While there were few pockets of athletes and team officials who did their best to create something of an atmosphere in what is normally one of the most widely anticipated events of the entire Games, commanding a large worldwide television audience.