Jacobs wins men's Olympic 100m, Gong ends long wait for gold

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Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy reacts after the Men's 100m Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 1, 2021. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

The Tokyo Olympics reached a climax at the halfway point in its schedule, as Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs came out a surprise winner in the men's 100m race on Sunday.

China bagged three gold medals in athletics, diving and badminton en route to holding onto its top ranking in the medals table with 24 golds and 51 medals overall. The United States tallied 59 medals, of which 20 are gold. Japan rank third with 17 gold medals and 31 in total.

Jacobs clocked 9.80 seconds to be crowned the world's fastest runner, followed by Fred Kerley of the United States in 9.84, and Canada's Andre de Grasse in 9.89.

"It was my childhood dream to win an Olympics Games and obviously a dream can turn into something different, but to run this final and win it is a dream come true," said Jacobs.

China's Su Bingtian came sixth in 9.98, the best ever result for an Asian sprinter. Su had posted a new Asian record time of 9.83 seconds in the semifinals.

Su's compatriot Gong Lijiao dominated the women's shot put to claim China's first Olympic gold in field events.

Su Bingtian (C) of China competes during the Men's 100m Final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 1, 2021. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)

The four-time Olympian set her personal best twice in the final, throwing 20.53 meters in her fifth attempt and then 20.58m in her sixth.

"I have waited this moment for too long. I have imagined this scenario countless times but I am still extremely excited when I am actually feeling it today," said an emotional Gong.

Raven Saunders of the United States and Valerie Adams of New Zealand took silver and bronze medals respectively.

Coming into the competition as a favorite, Gong led from the beginning with 19.95m in her first attempt, a mark that none of her opponents came close to throughout the competition.

The 32-year-old started to unleash her full power in the fifth attempt when she achieved a personal best of 20.53 meters. Gong went on to refresh her personal best even further to 20.58 meters in the final put.

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela won the women's triple jump title with a huge final jump of 15.67 meters to break the world record of 15.50m set in 1995.

Chinese diver Shi Tingmao won back-to-back Olympic titles in the women's 3m springboard, adding to her success in the synchronised 3m springboard earlier this week.

The defending Olympic champion built a convincing lead from the first round, finishing with 383.50 points, 34.75 points ahead of her compatriot Wang Han who finished second.

It is also Shi's fourth Olympic gold medal after she won the same two events five years ago at Rio 2016. China won its ninth consecutive Olympic gold medal in women's 3m springboard.

Shi, bursting into tears after her final dive, recalled a tough road in preparation for the delayed Tokyo Olympics.

"I was nearly going to give up because of the postponement of the Games. I even feared to go to the training ground. Now, I am grateful for my faith, and stick to it," said Shi, the oldest Olympic gold medalist in the event at 29 years and 335 days.

In badminton, China's Chen Yufei withstood a late comeback of Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei to win the women's singles gold medal.

Scores seesawed from the onset before Chen led from a 17-17 tie to 21-18 in the first game. Chen raced to an 11-8 lead in the second game, but Tai recovered from 12-14 down to win 21-19. Chen clinched a 21-18 victory in the decider to emerge the winner.

As nine-day swimming competition wrapped up on Sunday, and the U.S. topped the event medal standings with 11 golds and 30 in total. But America's 11 gold medals were the country's fewest in swimming since the 1992 Olympics.

Six world and 20 Olympic records were shattered in the swimming pool at this Games.

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel was the only one to set two world records, in the 100m butterfly final and 4x100m medley relay final. The 24-year-old bagged five gold medals, with the other three coming from the 50m and 100m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay.

Emma McKeon of Australia became the first female swimmer to win seven medals at one Olympics, finishing with four golds and three bronzes.

In gymnastics, Artem Dolgopyat gave Israel its second ever Olympic gold medal when he won the men's floor exercise event at Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

"I've been dreaming of this since I was six. It is the best gift for my country. It means a whole lot to give Israel its first gold medal in gymnastics," said Dolgopyat.

Ghanaian boxer Samuel Takyi is set to win the country's first medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games after qualifying for the men's featherweight semifinals, since there will not be a fight for third place.

It is also Africa's first medal in boxing at the Tokyo Games, and ensures that Ghana ends a 29-year wait for an Olympic medal.

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