“It Was a Surprise”: Usain Bolt Admits Thinking USA Would Win 100m Race at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 11/21/2021, 5:49 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men’s 4×100 Metres Relay heats during day nine of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 12, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)


The void left by Usain Bolt in the track and field competitions is massive. This talented sprinter won eight gold medals at the Olympic Games. What’s more impressive would be that he won at consecutive Olympics. That shows his quality and desire to be the best.

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Hence, after his retirement, fans wanted to know who would win the 100-meters competition at Tokyo Olympics 2020. The answer, Lamont Marcell Jacobs. Italy’s talented sprinter rushed past his competitors to become the first champion since Usain Bolt.

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Bolt acknowledged the Italian sprinter for claiming the gold medal. As usual, he’d expected US sprinters to win the race.

Usain Bolt congratulates Marcell Jacobs

Jacobs came through the ranks and finished with a time of 9.80 beating Bolt’s time of Rio Olympics 2016 by 0.01 seconds. Bolt was certainly impressed with Jacobs.

“For me, it was a surprise. Because I’d seen all the US athletes and everybody else, I was like, ‘maybe the US athletes will win’, but he showed up and he proved himself to be one of the best, and that’s what it’s all about. When you get onto the big stage, you have to prove yourself that the hard work that you put in and the focus that you have on the game. So my hat’s off to him,” said Bolt.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 18: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It is understandable why he’d thought the US would dominate the 100-meters competitions. Although he turned the tides back in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Team USA dominated the track and field competitions for many years.

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The USA boasts talented sprinters

Way before Bolt won the gold medal, the athletes from the United States of America dominated most of the competitions. Out of the 29 100-meter races that have happened in the Olympics, the USA won 16 gold medals in the competition, leading the way. Moreover, they have added 14 silver medals and nine bronze medals to it summing up to a total of 39 medals in the competitions.

The second place goes to Jamaica with Bolt’s three gold medals. He is the only athlete to win the medal in three consecutive Olympic Games.

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With only Carl Lewis managing two gold medals, Bolt stands above the rest for the consistency he maintained.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts as he wins the Olympic mens 200m final in a new world record time in the Birds Nest stadium, Beijing on August 20th 2008 in Beijing, China (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images). An image from the book “In The Moment” published June 2012

As Marcell Jacobs passed the finishing line, he became the first Italian to win the 100-meters race. That sums up why Bolt was impressed with the talented sprinter.

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WATCH THIS STORY- What Happened to Usain Bolt in the Tragic End to His Final Race?

 

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Jacob Gijy

645 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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