All three podium finishers ran the fastest races of their lives tonight in the 100m final in Tokyo. Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who it’s safe to say was not on anybody’s radar going into the Games (he is a former long jumper), took the win with another PB and European record, in 9.80. Fred Kerley of Team USA ran 9.84 for silver, with Andre De Grasse once again rounding out the podium, as he did in both Rio in 2016 and Doha in 2019, in a clutch personal best of 9.89 seconds, after a very slow start out of the blocks in lane 9. This was De Grasse’s fourth Olympic medal.
Andre De Grasse. History. Personal Best.
Give that man his fourth Olympic medal. He earns bronze with his time of 9.89 in the men's 100-metre final.#ExperienceGreatness #Athletics #TeamCanada pic.twitter.com/4dIaJFs4de
— Athletics Canada (@AthleticsCanada) August 1, 2021
It was Italy’s first Olympic gold medal in the short sprints. It’s fair to say no one saw this coming, and it came just moments after Jacobs’s compatriot, Gianmarco Tamberi, tied for gold in the high jump with a 2.37m.
The race got off to a tense start, with Zharnel Hughes false starting and being forced to leave the track, echoing his compatriot Linford Christie’s experience in 1996 in Atlanta, where Canada’s Donovan Bailey took gold. Earlier in the day, Reece Prescod had similarly false-started out of the semis, after getting a warning for a faulty start in the heats. About halfway down the track, Enoch Adegoke of Nigeria pulled up lame in the lane next to De Grasse, and did not finish. South Africa’s Akani Simbine finished just off the podium, in 9.93.
Yet again, even more history being made at #Tokyo2020
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) August 1, 2021
De Grasse ran his previous personal best, 9.90, in the final at the world championships in Doha in 2019, where he also won bronze, and previous to that, his best time was 9.91 from the final in Rio, where Usain Bolt took gold and Justin Gatlin, who did not qualify for these Games, took silver.
Here is the final result:
- Marcell Jacobs (Italy) 9.80 PB, Euro record
- Fred Kerley (USA) 9.84 PB
- Andre De Grasse (Canada) 9.89 PB
- Akani Simbine (South Africa) 9.93
- Ronnie Baker (USA) 9.95
- Bingtian Su (China) 9.98
With a day and a half to rest, De Grasse will get another shot for a podium performance at this Games when he runs the 200m, which begins with heats on Tuesday morning in Tokyo (Monday evening in North America).
Men’s 400m hurdles semi-finals
Predictably, world record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway advanced to the final in the men’s 400m hurdles, with the fastest time among qualifiers (47.30). Alison Dos Santos of Brazil set a South American record with his 47.31, and Team USA’s Rai Benjamin also advanced, in third position, with a 47.37. Rasmus Magi of Estonia also set a national record, winning his heat and advancing to the final, which goes Tuesday morning in Tokyo (Monday evening for Canadian viewers).
The action continues in Tokyo on Monday morning (Sunday evening for Canadians), with the first round of the women’s 1,500m and 200m and the final of the women’s 100m hurdles.