Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Marcell Jacobs wins men's 100m title; Zharnel Hughes false starts
The Italian sprinter clocked 9.80 in the final to become the first man to win the 100m Olympic title other than Usain Bolt since 2004; Team GB's Zharnel Hughes lost his chance to run with false start
Last Updated: 02/08/21 5:01pm
Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs claimed a stunning win in the men's 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics Games, as Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes was disqualified for a false start.
Jacobs secured victory in a time of 9.80 seconds, edging out Fred Kerley of the United States by 0.04sec. Canada's Andre De Grasse collected a second successive bronze in the event, having also finished third at Rio 2016.
Team GB's Hughes, the first Briton in a men's 100m final in 21 years, was disqualified for a massive false start and was forced to watch from the sidelines.
Yohan Blake missed out on the final and, with no Bolt, there were no Jamaicans in the last eight for the first time since Sydney 2000.
Jacobs had fired a warning with a European record of 9.84 in the semis to become the first Italian to make the final.
However, even in the most open-looking showdown for decades, the man who had never gone under 10 seconds until this year still seemed a long shot to be the first European winner since Briton Linford Christie in 1992.
After Hughes was disqualified for his false start, ratcheting up the tension, the powerful Jacobs got an explosive start and maintained his form for an incredible win.
"It's been my dream since I was a child," said Jacobs, who was born in the United States but moved to Europe with his Italian mother when he was a month old.
"I need a week or so to understand what has happened. Seeing Gimbo [Tamberi] win the high jump gold fired me up a lot.
"I've won an Olympic gold after Usain Bolt, it's unbelievable. Tonight, staring at the ceiling perhaps I will realise."
While Jacobs was celebrating his victory, Team GB's Hughes cut a dismayed figure and explained further about his false start, something that he also did in the British trials.
"I'm really heartbroken right now," said Hughes, whose Team GB team-mate Reece Prescod bowed out in the semi-finals in identical fashion.
"My left calf cramped up when I went on my 'set' position. It was so severe that I just couldn't stay in my blocks. I tried but it was too severe to stay there and I ended up moving. Wrong time and wrong place.
"It is the worst time. The worst time. The thing is I was fine during warm-up, I had no issues. I went into the call-up room, nothing. As the race was about to start, 'on your marks, set'... cramp, moved.
"I know for a fact I would have medalled. I know that for a fact. I was so ready. I just told myself to relax because the guys had run fast already. Sadly it was out of my control and that happened."
Hughes' setback comes a day after Dina Asher-Smith failed to make the women's corresponding final and withdrew from the 200m after revealing she had torn her hamstring at the British trials five weeks ago.
While Hughes was understandably frustrated by what occurred ahead of the race, the 26-year-old insisted the mistake will not define him.
Indeed, he says he has already turned his attention to the men's 4x100m relay, the final of which is on Friday.
"Listen, it has already happened," said Hughes. "I cannot take it back. It is a story which is written already. We live and we learn. This is just another lesson I have to learn again.
"At the end of the day, it is how you pick yourself up from failures like this and I know I am a champion deep down. I believe in myself. I believe in my ability.
"I just needed to relax. I was relaxed but my calf cramped. I hate to find excuses. I hate to bring up excuses. I hate excuses. But this happened."