Few people gave Lamont Marcell Jacobs a chance to win the men’s 100m final at the 2021 Olympics. After all, the Italian sprinter didn’t break the 10-second mark in the 100m event until 2021, so there were questions about just how fast he could run in Tokyo.
Jacobs answered all of them on Sunday. He clocked a personal best in the 100m dash at a mark of 9.8 seconds to win the gold medal in one of track and field’s top events.
Jacobs just edged Fred Kerley of the United States and Canada’s Andre De Grasse with his blazing run. Both men also ran personal bests, with Kerley finishing in 9.84 seconds and De Grasse clocking a 9.89. They earned the silver and bronze respectively.
As you can see, the finish was extremely close, but Jacobs managed to emerge by a head.
Just how big an upset was Jacobs’ win? On July 8, FanDuel Sportsbook gave him the seventh-best odds to win the event at 31-1. In other words, Jacobs was expected to challenge for a spot in the eight-man final, but the books didn’t believe he had a chance to beat some of the other top competitors, including Kerley and De Grasse.
|Trayvon Bromell||United States||+115|
|Fred Kerley||United States||+550|
|Akani Simbine||South Africa||+550|
|Ronnie Baker||United States||+650|
|Andre De Grasse||Canada||+650|
|Zharnel Hughes||Great Britain||+2500|
Certainly, Jacobs’ win was a surprise, but so too was the performance of Trayvon Bromell. The U.S. runner was expected to be the top competitor in the field and was favored to be the first non-Usain Bolt runner to earn 100m gold since Justin Gatlin (USA) won the race in 2004.
However, Bromell bowed out in the semifinals of the race. He clocked a 10.00 mark in qualifying and was unable to advance to the final, as he was one millisecond behind Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke. That opened the door for Jacobs to make his run and become the first Italian man to medal in the 100m dash.
Jacobs entered the Olympics as the eighth-ranked sprinter in the world. Safe to say that’s likely to change now that Jacobs has won the title of world’s fastest man.