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Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy achieved a new European record when winning the men’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jacobs’ winning time of 9.80 seconds on Sunday put him 0.04 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Fred Kerley of the United States and 0.09 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Andre De Grasse of Canada. Jacobs’ triumph came shortly after Gianmarco Tamberi’s gold medal in the high jump, capping a memorable few minutes for Italian at the Olympic Stadium.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 01: Marcell Jacobs of Team Italy celebrates after winning the Men’s 100m Final on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium.

As Jacobs, the first Italian male to win an Olympic gold medal and the first European man to do it since Great Britain’s Linford Christie in 1992, sprinted across the finish line, the two men embraced. “Winning an Olympic Games was a boyhood dream of mine, and obviously, dreams may change, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true,” Jacobs, 26, said.

“I’d like to thank my family, my children, and my mother, who has been my number one fan since I was a child, as well as my team, who have followed and supported me.”

The event began in tense conditions when GB’s Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start on a hot, humid evening in Tokyo with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). It was a stroke of luck for Jacobs, who had the slowest reaction time out of the blocks in the first race — more than half a second.

In the final, Jacobs, Kerley, and De Grasse all set personal bests, with De Grasse adding to his five-year-old bronze medal from the Rio Olympics. Jacobs was an unlikely successor to three-time champion Usain Bolt in the first men’s 100m final since the Jamaican retired from sports. Jacobs’ victory time in Rio was 0.01 seconds faster than Bolt’s. He used to compete in the long jump until 2017, when he decided to concentrate completely on sprinting.

“I had no idea who he was or what he was like. At the Monaco Diamond League (in July), it was my first time racing him “Jacobs, Kerley subsequently stated. “He performed an excellent job (here).”

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