Marcell Jacobs declared 2021 as “the year of Italy” following his second gold at Tokyo 2020 in the men’s 4x100m relay on Friday.
Jacobs, 26, powered to a surprise gold in 9.80 seconds in the men’s 100m final before combining with Lorenzo Patta, Eseosa Desalu and Filippo Tortu to win Italy’s first medal in the relay since London 1948.
The relay win gave Italy a fifth athletics gold in Tokyo, tied with the United States for the most. They had never previously claimed more than three at a single Games.
Jacobs has become just the second Italian to win multiple athletics Olympic titles after Ugo Frigerio’s three walking golds between 1920 and 1924.
An outstanding meet continues a remarkable year for Italy, in which the country also won Eurovision before ending a 53-year wait for a European Championship triumph at Euro 2020, beating England in July’s Wembley final.
“This is the year of Italy, this is our year,” Jacobs said. “We won the Eurovision, we won the football European Championship, we won five gold medals [in athletics].”
What an Olympic Games #ITA are having!
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 6, 2021
Tortu’s superb final leg gave Italy victory ahead of Great Britain by only 0.01s. Canada, led by 200m champion Andre De Grasse, finished third.
It was another unexpected success for Jacobs, who added: “I would never expect this [a second gold] before leaving, nobody would have expected that.
“Thank you Italy. We really have worked well and we believed in it so much. I adore these guys.
“Before entering the track, we looked at each other and we were determined to win a medal.”