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Italy’s Marcell Jacobs – born in El Paso – is fastest man in world, wins sprint gold

TOKYO, Japan — At the Tokyo Olympics, Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs is The World’s Fastest Man as he claimed a shock victory.

Jacobs won the men’s Olympic 100-meter race Sunday night, crossing the line in 9.8 seconds to bring the sprint gold to Italy for the first time.

Jacobs, 26, was born in El Paso, the son of an American father and an Italian mother. He moved to Italy with his mother as a young boy when the U.S. military transferred his dad to South Korea.

"It was my childhood dream to win an Olympic Games, and obviously, a dream can turn into something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true," said Jacobs.
 
He added, "I want to thank my family that has always supported me, my children, and my mom, who has been my number one fan since I was a child, and my team who have followed me and those who support me."
 
Jacobs topped America’s Fred Kerley and Canada’s Andre DeGrasse to take the spot held for the past 13 years by the now-retired Usain Bolt.
 
Jacobs’ victory came only moments after his countryman, Gianmarco Tamberi, tied Qatari high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim for gold in the high jump.

The Jacobs victory left everyone outside Italy – and maybe some in the country, as well – letting out a collective “Who?”

“I really don’t know anything about him,” Kerley said of the new gold medalist. “He did a fantastic job.”

The El Paso-born Italian, who has a deeper history in long jumping than outdoor sprints, won the race that has long defined Olympic royalty.

Jacobs was a long-jump specialist for years, and his biggest major running success previously came in an indoor 60-meter title at European champions earlier this year.

His personal best was an Italian record, 9.95 seconds, set in May. It was the first time he’d broken 10 seconds.

Now, he’s on the list with Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Bolt as an Olympic 100-meter champion.

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4 Comments

  1. Nice to occasionally see an African American male ‘putting El Paso on the map’, not due to crime, which seems to be the custom of some.

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