Italian sprinter Lamont Marcell Jacobs has won the men’s 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics after a dramatic race that saw Britain’s Zharnel Hughes disqualified following a false start.
Jacobs is the first man to win the title other than sprinting great Usain Bolt since 2004 as he crossed the finish line in 9.8 seconds.
Lamont Marcell Jacobs celebrates after winning gold in 100m men’s final
Jacobs (second right) crosses the finish line
There was drama before the race after a blatant false start from Hughes meant he was unable to compete and had to watch the race from the sidelines.
He was set to be the first Briton to compete in the men’s Olympic 100m final since Dwain Chambers and Darren Campbell at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Speaking after the race, Hughes blamed the false start on cramp setting in his left calf as he took the set position in his blocks.
“With the cramp, I moved,” he told the BBC.
“I feel that if I was in the final I would have walked away with a medal, no doubt about it.
“It was out of my control. It hurts a lot.”
Hughes later said that his cramp was “so severe” he “just couldn’t stay” in his blocks despite having been fine in the warm-up.
He said he was now trying to “think of something positive” and refocus for the men’s 4x100m event.
“I’m really heartbroken right now,” Hughes added.
“Wrong time and wrong place.”
Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (L) was disqualified before Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs (R) won gold. Pic: USA Today Sports
Hughes is led away by an official after being disqualified. Pic: AP
The scenes were reminiscent of Linford Christie’s disqualification before the 1996 Olympic 100m final in Atlanta following his two false starts.
The rules changed in 2010 so now one false start means instant disqualification.
Italian Jacobs won the race in 9.8 seconds, edging out America’s Fred Kerley by 0.04secs.
Canada’s Andre De Grasse collected a second successive bronze in the event, having also finished third at Rio 2016.
After the race, Jacobs, who was born in Texas but moved to Europe with his Italian mother when he was a month old, said winning the Olympic 100m title had been his dream since he was a child.
“I need a week or so to understand what has happened,” he said.
“I’ve won an Olympic gold after Usain Bolt, it’s unbelievable.
“Tonight, staring at the ceiling perhaps I will realise.”
American Trayvon Bromell had been favourite to win the 100m title before the Games after running the world’s fastest time this year at 9.77, but he failed to qualify for the final.