Italy’s Lamont Marcell ‘crazy’ Jacobs becomes first man to win 100m other than Usain Bolt since 2004


The fastest man at Tokyo2020, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, is an American-born Italian who had originally wanted to be basketball player, before switching to athletics aged ten.

Known as Marcell, but nicknamed ‘Crazy’ was born in El Paso, Texas, to an Italian mother and moved to Lombardy in northern Italy as a baby.

The sprinter lives in Rome with his wife partner Nicole Daza and the couple have two sons, Jeremy and Anthony.

Jacobs set a new 100m European record in August 2021 with a time of 9.80 seconds.

However the World and Olympic records are still held by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt who remains the fastest man on the planet.

He ran an astonishing 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Cup and 9.63 at the London 2012 Olympics.

Victory: the fastest man at Tokyo2020, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, is an American-born Italian who had originally wanted to be basketball player, before switching to athletics aged ten

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs celebrates after winning the men's 100m final

Lamont Marcell Jacobs, of Italy, celebrates after winning the final of the men's 100-meters

Marcell used to want to be a basketball player before switching to athletics at the age of 10

The three medallists stand with their national flags having set personal bests in the 100m final

The three medallists stand with their national flags having set personal bests in the 100m final

Lamont Marcell Jacobs and partner Nicole Daza

Lamont Marcell Jacobs and partner Nicole Daza

Family: New Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs pictured with his partner Nicole Daza

Marcell clocked 9.80 seconds in Tokyo on today to finish ahead of the USA’s Fred Kerley and Canada’s Andre De Grasse.

Jacobs became the first man to win the 100m other than Usain Bolt since Justin Gatlin in 2004.

The 26-year-old began competing in athletics at the age of ten and initially preferred the sprint before discovering the long jump in 2011.

In March this year, Jacobs won gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in the 60m event.

He is the first Italian to win the 100m Olympic gold medal.

The sprinter has resided in Rome since 2018 and lives with his partner Nicole and his two children, Anthony (born 2019) and Megan (born 2021). Jacobs also has a son, Jeremy (born 2013), from a previous relationship when he was 19.

Photo finish: The Italian took gold in front of USA's Fred Kerley and Andre De Grasse of Canada with all three setting personal best times in an extremely tight finish for the men's 100m final

Photo finish: The Italian took gold in front of USA’s Fred Kerley and Andre De Grasse of Canada with all three setting personal best times in an extremely tight finish for the men’s 100m final

Jacobs just pipped USA's Fred Kerley across the line in a tight finish to take the gold for Italy

Jacobs just pipped USA’s Fred Kerley across the line in a tight finish to take the gold for Italy

It is reported Marcell has been with his girlfriend Nicole Daza for more than four years.

When asked about his origins, he said he feels 100 per cent Italian, admitting he is not very good at speaking English.

Jacobs, ranked No. 8 in the world in the event, became the first Italian man to win a medal of any colour in the 100 meters.

The 26-year-old was previously a long jumper, winning the Italian Championship in 2016, and struggled to grasp what he had achieved.

‘I don’t know, it’s a dream, a dream, it is fantastic. Maybe tomorrow I can imagine what they are saying, but today it is incredible,’ he said, after becoming the first European to win the Olympic 100m title since Linford Christie in 1992.

Pictured: Jacobs (second right) made only a reasonable start but dominated the last 50 meters of the race to take a shock gold - the first medal for Italy in the men's 100m in history

Pictured: Jacobs (second right) made only a reasonable start but dominated the last 50 meters of the race to take a shock gold – the first medal for Italy in the men’s 100m in history

Proud: Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs took a shock gold medal in the men's 100m final

Proud: Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs took a shock gold medal in the men’s 100m final

‘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.

‘I want to thank my family that has always supported me, my children and my mum, who has been my number one fan since I was a child, and my team, who have followed me, and those who support me.

‘It is amazing, it is fantastic, it is a dream, Olympic champion in 100m, I have no words.’

Kerley, who won 400m bronze at the World Championships two years ago, admitted he knew little about the new champion.

Marcell lives in Rome with his partner Nicole Daza (pictured) and their children

Marcell lives in Rome with his partner Nicole Daza (pictured) and their children

‘I really didn’t know anything about him. It was my first time racing him at the Monaco Diamond League (in July). He did a fantastic job,’ he said.

‘I executed the race perfectly and I came up with a silver medal. I can’t complain. The race was a beautiful race. I got a personal best and a silver medal. I am blessed to be at the biggest stage of my career.’ 



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