A former long jump competitor born in the United States and raised in Italy is the fastest man on the planet.
“I don’t know, it’s a dream, a dream, it is fantastic. Maybe tomorrow I can imagine what they are saying, but today it is incredible,” said Lamont Marcell Jacobs after claiming a shock gold medal in the men’s 100m on Sunday.
“It was my childhood dream to win an Olympics Games and obviously a dream can turn into something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true.”
“I want to thank my family that has always supported me, my children (sons, Anthony and Jeremy) and my mum, who has been my No.1 fan since I was a child, and my team who have followed me and those who support me.”
Jacobs won in 9.80, which was 0.01 faster than the time Usain Bolt posted to win his third straight 100m title at Rio 2016.
Fred Kerley of the USA came second and Canada’s Andre de Grasse won a second successive Olympic bronze in third.
Jacobs is the first Italian man to win 100m gold at the Olympics and the first European man since Linford Christie of Great Britain at Barcelona 1992.
Jacobs immediately hugged Gianmarco Tamberi, the Italian high jumper who also won gold on Sunday and was waiting just past the 100m finish line.
“When I got to Gianmarco we support each other. We all know his story – he could have won in Rio (2016) but he had an injury, but being here together is something spectacular. I believe in him and believed in myself.”
The world’s largest global TV audience tuned in for the 100m final which surprisingly did not feature a Jamaican sprinter as veteran Johan Blake of Jamaica was well off the pace in Tokyo.
Blake, 31, said: “I can’t cry, it’s the first in my career at this level I haven’t been to a final, but I give God thanks nevertheless.
“Definitely my last Olympics. You know track is not easy. I won’t be ungrateful. I’ve gained a lot.
“I’m still the second fastest man in history, no one can take that away from me. I’m pretty happy with how my career has gone. I’ve not finished yet, but I just have to go back to the drawing board.”
In the women’s triple jump, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas added Olympic gold to her titles as the standout of the event broke the world and Olympic record to the delight of her competitors in a spectacular advert for athletics.
Rojas claimed the world record, as she has threatened all season, with a sensational 15.67m distance to see off Portugal’s in-form Patricia Mamona who finished ahead of bronze medalist Ana Peleteiro of Spain who was one of the most popular athletes on Sunday.
Rojas, the first Venezuelan woman to win Olympic gold, said: “I am lost for words, I can’t describe this feeling and this moment. Gold medal winner, with an Olympic record, and a world record … Wow. It is a fantastic night.
“I was looking for it, I knew we had that distance in my legs to get it today. I was failing a bit in the technical aspect, but the last jump was one to give everything, and it was like that.
“I focused on giving my best, enjoying, and it came out.
“It makes me happy. I have to enjoy it now, and live the experience.”