Tokyo Olympics: Lamont Marcell Jacobs surprises his world and wins gold in the 100 meters



There is a new sprint king at the top of Olympus. His name is Lamont Marcell Jacobs. The 26-year-old Italian won Sunday 1er August the 100-meter final at the Tokyo Olympics in 9 ”80, ahead of favorites Americans and Canadians, Fred Kerley (9” 84) and Andre de Grasse (9 ”89).

In the precincts of the Olympic stadium in Tokyo, few are those who know this ” Italian guy Covered in tattoos, the name of which is now on everyone’s lips. When the question is put to Andre de Grasse, glasses screwed on his head and Canadian flag on his shoulders, he laughs: ” I don’t know anything about him at all, it’s the first time I’ve spoken to him. But I am very proud of him. Our sport is heading in the right direction: you never know in advance who will be able to win.

The heat of the Tokyo evening was indeed to bring out an heir to Usain Bolt, says ” Lightning », Triple Olympic winner in 100m and 200m (2008, 2012, 2016) and double gold medalist in 4 x 100m, before his retirement from the slopes in 2017, to join the football fields. No individuality has emerged to exert a dominance similar to that which the Jamaican has imprinted on the world sprint. The cast for the final illustrated this wonderfully: the 8 title contenders had personal bests and best times of the season between 9 ”83 and 9” 98, and five of them were between 9 ”83 and 9 ”86. A pocket square.

First European Olympic champion over 100 meters since 1992

Lamont Marcell Jacobs was able to pull out of the game, setting a European record in the semi-finals (9 ”84) then improving his mark in the final (9” 80), thus wiping out the performance of Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut (9 ”86 in 2015 and 2016), eliminated in the semi-finals in Tokyo. He thus made spectacular progress, lowering his previous personal best by 15 hundredths of a second in the final.

→ READ. French sportsmen find their colors in Tokyo

The Italian, born in El Paso in Texas, thus became the first European Olympic champion over 100 meters since the Briton Linford Christie in 1992. Passed by the long jump, he had especially distinguished himself until then by winning the championships of ‘Europe indoor over 60 meters in Poland last March.

He attributes his sudden excellence to the resolution of a trauma that haunts him since childhood: the absence of his American father, who remained in the United States when his Italian mother returned to his homeland after their separation, when he was only 6 months old.

I have never seen my father since, but I spoke to him for the first time last year, it helped me get to this point He said this Sunday, with a smile on his face. In a few months, the Italian, surrounded by a mental coach, has seen his results improve. Before the race, Lamont Marcell – his father, who has the same name – sent a message to “ Junior “:” he told me “you can do it, I’m with you”, that’s great!

No title for the Americans, who hoped to register their name at the top of the podium, which had not happened since the Athens Games in 2004, where Justin Gatlin had won. Several absences were to be deplored: that of the reigning world champion Christian Coleman (United States), who failed to meet his whereabouts obligations in the fight against doping, and that of his compatriot Justin Gatlin, triple medalist but not qualified this year. . One of the favorites, Trayvon Bromell, best performer of the year, failed in the semi-finals.

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