By Shehan Daniel at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan
Italian sprinter Lamont Jacobs stormed his way to the first post-Usain Bolt era Olympic 100m title on a record-breaking night at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo yesterday, where the Women’s Triple Jump World Record was also bettered.
American-born Jacobs went toe-to-toe with the USA’s Fred Kerley in the opening phase of the race before powering through, winning by a margin of four-hundreds of a second.
The final eight, introduced with a light show where the images and names of the athletes were projected on the race track in a darkened stadium – a first at the Olympics – had no clear favourite after American Trayvon Bromnell, who clocked the fastest time this year, bowing out at the semi-final stage.
There were also no Jamaicans in the line-up, the first time that had happened since Sydney 2000, after Bolt’s former running partner Yohan Blake also failed to progress beyond the semi-finals.
The 9.80 secs clocked to win the race was a new European record and the second time Jacobs broke that record last night, with his semi-final time of 9.84 secs also a new regional best.
All of the top three ran personal bests, with Canada’s Andre de Grasse taking bronze with a time of 9.89 secs, unable to upgrade on the medal he won at Rio 2016.
China’s Su Biantian added to the list of records broken last evening, when he bettered the Asian Record over 100m, with a blistering run of 9.83 secs in the semi-finals, the joint fastest time recorded at that stage of the competition.
Biantian could not however replicate that run in the finals, finishing with a time of 9.98 secs, that pushed him to the back of the pack and last of the six runners who completed the race. Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain was the fourth athlete, and the second from his country, to be disqualified for a false start in the three main rounds of the Men’s 100m event, with Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke pulling up hurt half-way through the final.
Celebrating his win, Lamont ran straight into the arms of compatriot Gianmarco Tamberi, who had shortly before tied for Gold with Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshimboth, in the Men’s High Jump event where both athletes were dead level after missing their attempts at 2.39 metres.
The two Gold medalists and Belarus’ Maksim Nedasekau all tied at 2.37 m for their last completed jumps, the Belarusian had one failure to his name, and had to settle for Bronze on count back.
The women’s triple jump final was as good as over after the first two jumps of the event with Venezuela’s Rojas setting a new Olympic record on her opening attempt of the competition.
She jumped a distance of 15.41m with the next best effort coming from Patricia Mamona of Portugal who leapt 15.01m, a new national record. Ana Peleteiro of Spain won Bronze with an effort of 14.87m.
On her last jump, Gold already secured by then, Rojas comfortably cleared the World Record distance of 15.5m, by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets since 1995, with a leap of 15.67m.
The finals of the Men’s Long Jump and 3000m Steeplechase, and the Women’s 100m Hurdles, Discus Throw and 5000m will be held today.