Jacobs gold in the 100 meters in Tokyo! Who is the new king of athletics
Marcell Jacobs gold in the 100 meters flat at the Tokyo Olympics.
Well: if we told this to a Martian passionate about terrestrial athletics, and we added that Jacobs is Italian, the Martian would have a laugh.
Instead it is all true. And it happened yesterday, Sunday 1 August, just eleven minutes after another splendid gold, the one conquered ex aequo by Gianmarco “Gimbo” Tamberi in the high jump.
When it was Jacobs’ turn, the twenty-six year old Italian from El Paso has amazed the world. With his 9’79 “, rounded up after a few moments by the judges to 9’80”, he gave Italy gold in a practically impossible discipline. To give you a first parameter, no Italian has ever even climbed to an Olympic podium in this competition.
And to give you another one, a certain Usain Bolt won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio on the 100 meters taking a hundredth of a second longer than our Jacobs. Who since yesterday is the fastest man in the world.
We relive a race that will remain in the history of athletics, not only Italian. But let’s also retrace the path that led Marcell Jacobs to amazing gold, and discover something more about this formidable athlete.
Tokyo, Sunday 1 August 2021, from 9.42 pm to 9.50 pm
Yesterday, Sunday 1 August 2021, at 21.42 in Tokyo (14.42 Italian) Gimbo Tamberi tries for the last time to jump 2.39 meters, fails but remains first on par with the Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim: both have jumped 2, 37 on the first try. At this point the two must decide: ex aequo gold or playoff. They opt for the first solution, Tamberi goes wild in the celebrations, we begin to rejoice with him but time is running out.
Because the minutes have flown by, and perhaps the most awaited race of every Olympiad is about to start: the 100 meters flat, set for 21.50.
From 21.50 to 21.52
There is the usual short presentation of the athletes. When it’s the turn of the Italian sprinter, in lane 3, many viewers see a strange smile in Marcell Jacobs. Just sketchy, but clear.
The athlete on his left, the British Zharnel Hughes, is not as relaxed: he seems to be pawing in lane 4. And indeed. We go to the blocks, and Hughes leaves well before the shot. A judge approaches him and, unequivocally, disqualifies him.
When we leave, the lane next to Jacobs is empty.
From 21.53 to 21.53, 9 seconds and 80 cents
The second start is valid.
Heavy-bodied Jacobs is usually quite slow to break away from the blocks. In a 100-meter race, the first winds are run with the head bowed. When Jacobs looks up, he is already among the first. The rest is an apnea for all the Italian fans, and an exciting head to head between our Marcell and the American Fred Kerley. Towards 60 meters Jacobs takes the lead, touches the senseless speed of 43.3 kilometers per hour, and the legendary Rai commentator Franco Bragagna loses control nicely.
A moment later, Marcell Jacobs is Olympic gold in the hundred meters flat. The fastest man in the world is Italian. Jacobs continues to run, he doesn’t even understand where, and after a few meters he finds Gianmarco Tamberi, still wrapped in a tricolor flag, embracing him.
Two magnificent golds in the space of eleven minutes.
Marcell Jacobs at the Tokyo Olympics
The progression that led Marcell Jacobs to Olympic gold is both exciting and impressive at the same time.
Jacobs arrives in Tokyo with a sumptuous 9’95 ”, an Italian record acquired on May 13 in Savona. He is the second Italian athlete, after Filippo Tortu, to drop below 10 seconds.
The 100 meters at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics begins on Saturday with heats. In his (battery 3), Jacobs wins rather smoothly and, as if nothing had happened, scores a 9’94 “: new Italian record.
Saturday morning our athlete is in the most difficult semifinal, with top athletes. The race is very fast, Jacobs runs well and finishes third. The time is amazing: 9’84 ”and a new European record.
A few hours pass and we arrive at 9.53 pm on Sunday 1st August. You already know the rest of the story.
Who is Marcell Jacobs
Lamont Marcell Jacobs was born in El Paso on September 26, 1994 to a Texan father and an Italian mother. The father, a soldier, is sent to work in South Korea. Instead of following him, mother and son settle in Desenzano del Garda, in the province of Brescia.
Marcell, with dual citizenship, does not renew the American one starting from 2016. He has three children: Jeremy (from a previous relationship), Anthony and Meghan.
The new Olympic champion began athletics at the age of 10, initially preferring (and with excellent results) the long jump.
But since 2018 he focuses on sprinting. The first important ring is on 6 March 2021, when in Poland, at the European indoor athletics championships, he wins in the 60 flat meters, establishing the new Italian record.
Then here comes the Italian record, which we have already talked about. And here comes the 21.53 on Sunday 1 August.