100m Olympics curse continues for Akani Simbine, Lamont Marcell Jacobs wins gold
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CAPE TOWN - The curse of the major championship finals came back to haunt Akani Simbine on Sunday as he just missed out on a medal by finishing fourth in the 100m final at the Tokyo Olympics.
The South African star, drawn in lane two, got out of the blocks smoothly, but once again did not make the best of starts as he had to watch Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs roar past him in lane three.
Americans Fred Kerley and Ronnie Baker were leading the field at around the 50-metre mark, and it looked like they could grab the gold and silver medals.
But they couldn’t shake off the tall Jacobs, who seemed to get quicker the longer the race went on, and the Italian pipped Kerley on the line to win the title in a time of 9.80 seconds – a new European record.
Kerley also produced a new personal best of 9.84 to clinch the silver, while Canada’s Andre de Grasse stormed back in lane nine to beat Simbine for the bronze in 9.89 – also a new personal best.
The 27-year-old South African Simbine was forced to miss out on a podium finish once more – having finished fifth in the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2017 world championships, and fourth at the 2019 world championships – as he could only muster a time of 9.93.
That was well short of his personal best and African record of 9.84, which he set in Hungary in early July, and which would’ve given him a bronze medal at least on Sunday.
Men’s 100m final results
1 Lamont Jacobs (Italy) 9.80
2 Fred Kerley (USA) 9.84
3 Andre de Grasse (Canada) 9.89
4 Akani Simbine (RSA) 9.93
5 Ronnie Baker (USA) 9.95
6 Bingtian Su (China) 9.98
DNF: Enoch Adegoke (Nigeria)
DQ: Zharnel Hughes (GB)