Jacobs pips Kerley to win 100m
By Wichithra Weerasinghe
in Tokyo Lamont Marcell Jacobs won a closely contested Tokyo Olympics men’s 100 meters on Sunday, becoming the first Italian to capture the title of world’s fastest man.
The 26-year-old Jacobs ran alongside the American Fred Kerley before out-leaning him at the end, finishing in 9.80.
Kerley, a first-time Olympian, won silver in a personal-best time of 9.84. Canada’s Andre de Grasse was third in 9.89, winning his second consecutive bronze in the event.
Jacobs, ranked No.8 in the world, became the first Italian male to win a medal of any color in the 100 meters. The race has been dominated by Americans historically, and recently by Usain Bolt. The Jamaican had won the previous three Olympic golds in the event prior to retiring before these Games.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon who contested the men’s 100 meters heats last Saturday, ended with a timing of 10.31 seconds to finish in sixth place, thereby failing to qualify for the next round.
Yupun was placed in 42nd position overall out of 50 sprinters in the initial rounds, and he has recorded the best timing of a Sri Lankan athlete in the event. The previous Sri Lankan athlete to record a decent time in the men’s 100 meters was Chinthaka de Zoysa, who had clocked 10.55 seconds in 1996.
Speaking on his experience at the 32nd Olympic Games, Abeykoon said: “I really could not record the time which I desired during the heats. I think a mistake occurred during the first 30 meter stretch which prevented me from going for my goal. But as I have few championships coming up, I intend to rectify this mistake. I know many Sri Lankans thought highly of me and they wished me success, and I am disappointed I could not record a decent time. But I will address my shortcomings with the help of my coach.”
A similar plight befell Sri Lanka’s Nimali Liyanarachchi who contested the 800m event, and thus far out of the nine members of the Sri Lankan contingent competing here at the Olympics, the fate of eight of them has been sealed.
The only other remaining event for Sri Lanka is Mathilda Karlsson competing in the equestrian event, which is set to get underway from 3.30 p.m. SL time on 3 August.