Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs ran the men’s 100-meter final in 9.80 seconds to pull off a stunning upset and claim the gold medal.
Jacobs, 26, was born in Texas and moved to Italy as a young child. American Fred Kerley earned the silver medal with a time of 9.84 seconds, while Canada’s Andre De Grasse earned bronze at 9.89.
Italy had never won Olympic gold in the men’s 100m before Sunday.
This was the first men’s 100m post-Usain Bolt, and after American Trayvon Bromell, who had run the two fastest times in the world this year, struggled to even make the semifinals after a lackluster opener and then didn’t make the final, the race was truly wide open.
Even then, Jacobs’ victory was a surprise. He finished third in his semifinal heat at 9.84 seconds, behind twin 9.83s posted by China’s Bingtian Su, who got an incredible start and rode it to a new Asian record, and American Ronnie Baker.
Kerley surprised American track observers when he dropped down to the 100m and 200m at the U.S. Trials, since he was bronze medalist in the 400m at the 2019 world championships. He won his semifinal in 9.96 seconds.
While the Jamaican women were incredible on Saturday, sweeping the medals in their 100m, the country did not have a man in the final.