Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy is now officially ‘the fastest man in the world’, taking the title from Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.
Sunday saw one of the most unexpected moments of this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Jacobs, Italy’s 26-year-old underdog sprinter, won gold in the men’s 100m sprint by completing the race in 9.80 seconds (a new European record).
The Texas-born, Italy-raised athlete beat out Canada and the United States in the race that shocked everyone.
“It’s been my dream since I was a child,” Jacobs said after the race. “I’ve won an Olympic gold after Usain Bolt, it’s unbelievable. Tonight, staring at the ceiling, perhaps I will realise.”
The outcome made Italy celebrate the day even more. Moments before Jacobs’ win, the European country celebrated their victory in the men’s high jump as 29-year-old Gianmarco Tamberi won gold.
A Sunday to savour for the Italians: Gianmarco Tamberi had just won GOLD in men’s High Jump, and a few minutes later, his countryman Lamont Marcell Jacobs replicated that winning men’s 100m. They must have specially prayed for them today at the Vatican #PagaChamps #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/mDpVtlynB6
— Making of Champions (@MakingOfChamps) August 1, 2021
Before moving to the track, Jacobs competed in numerous athletic games as “a long jump specialist”.
Before Sunday, his biggest achievement was winning the 60m long jump title at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
Jacobs’ win marks the first time that Italy has won gold in the men’s 100m sprint.
Jacobs’ mother, Viviana Masini, took to the radio in Italy to speak on her son’s record-breaking accomplishment.
“When he was little, I told him he would join Usain Bolt and we are on track for that … The next target is the world record and he will get there, if not this year, then next year,” Masini said.
They’re words that Jacobs echoed after securing his victory.
“It was my childhood dream to win an Olympic Games and obviously a dream can turn into something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true,” Jacobs said.
Olympics manifest the beauty of incredible possibilities. We are reminded of how great humans are and how much greater they can become. We get new heroes every 4 years to remind us that the human body is capable of many things. Welcome the fastest man alive Lamont Marcell Jacobs. pic.twitter.com/BaBqzoRbn2
— Shafir Hakeem Yiga (@ShafirYigaEsq) August 1, 2021
Humble in his victory, Jacobs credits his team as the main reason for his victory. To the star athlete, their support in all aspects of his life allowed him to win.
“I crafted a really good team to support me … We changed the starts. And we work mentality. Mentality, good food, good physiotherapy … I really work hard with my mind. Because when I was arriving at the big moment my legs don’t work too good. Now my legs go really good when it’s a big moment.”
Apart from Jacobs, the event saw other athletes smash their own goals.
Specifically, America’s 26-year-old Fred Kerley came second in 9.84 seconds, and Canada’s 26-year-old Andre de Grasse came third in 9.89 seconds.
As of now, the Olympics has entered day ten. Currently, Australia is ranked 4th in the world with 31 medals under their belts.