What he says : The Texas-born sprinter told reporters after setting a European record of 9.80 seconds to win gold in Sunday’s event that reconnecting with his father “gave me desire, speed, something. more that helped me to be here and to win the olympics. “
Driving the news: The 26-year-old was born in El Paso to a US military father and Italian mother before moving to Italy with his mother as a baby. He has received encouraging messages since reconnecting with his Dallas-based father, Jacobs notes.
- Jacobs’ mental health trainer told him “if you want to run fast you have to go to a place that makes you feel good with your dad,” he recalls.
- “You are American in your blood (…) and you have to talk to him to get to the Olympics and maybe win,” he said, quoting the advisor.
The big picture: Sunday’s race was the first men’s 100m final of the Tokyo Games since the retirement of great athlete Usain Bolt.
- Jacobs was an unknown parent before winning the race, leaving American Fred Kerley with a silver medal and Canadian Andre de Grasse with bronze.
Enlarge: Kerley told reporters he “didn’t know anything about” Jacobs, 26 years before his victory, while De Grasse said: “I thought my main competitor would be the Americans… he really shocked and surprised me, so really well done to him. “
- Even Jacobs seemed shocked by his victory, describing the result as “unbelievable” and “like a dream”.
- “I think it takes me four or five years to realize and understand what’s going on,” he added.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with more comments from Jacobs about his father.