Athletics

Tokyo Olympics | Jacobs fastest man on the planet

The Italian Job: Lamont Marcell Jacobs, right, of Italy edges out Fred Kerly to win the blue riband 100m event on Sunday. Andre de Grasse, not in pic, won bronze.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

It was a magical Sunday night in Tokyo as Lamont Marcell Jacobs virtually came from nowhere and raced away as the fastest man of the Olympics.

With American world leader Trayvon Bromell crashing out in the semifinal and China’s Su Bingtian topping that round in a new Asian record time of 9.83s, many had expected surprises in the final.

Still, none expected Jacobs to come good for he had never won any major 100m title earlier. The race was anybody’s till about 70m when the 26-year-old America-born Italian made his move to stunningly take the gold in an European record time of 9.80s with American Fred Kerly (9.84) and Canadian Andre de Grasse (9.89) picking silver and bronze.

Jacobs is the first Italian to take the 100m title and its was a personal best for all three. It was certainly a dramatic day and a wonderful Italian night, for the men’s high jump produced two gold medallists after Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim finished level at 2.37m after clearing all their earlier heights in their first attempt. They had both failed at 2.39. They were given two options: a jump-off or to share the gold and they decided to go for the latter.

Tamberi shed tears of joy for he had missed the 2016 Olympics with an injury and was in crutches around that time. He brought the cast, that held his leg together then, to the Tokyo track to remind the world what he had been through. Barshim was in tears too, it was the World champion’s first gold after silver in Rio and London 2012.

A few minutes before that, Venezuala’s Yulimar Rojas was screaming in delight after breaking Inessa Kravet’s 26-year-old women’s triple jump World record with 15.67m (old 15.50) in her last effort. She had broken the Olympic record with her first jump, a 15.41. Portugal’s Patricia Mamona (15.01) and Spain’s Ana Peleteiro (14.87) took silver and bronze.

Lijiao finally gets gold

Earlier China’s Gong Lijiao, who had won silver and bronze earlier, completed her Olympic medal set in women’s shot put with a personal best 20.58m. All her five legal throws were better than American silver medallist Raven Saunders’ efforts (19.79).


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:06:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/athletics/tokyo-olympics-jacobs-fastest-man-on-the-planet/article35671670.ece

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