After the high of winning three straight titles, Jamaica did not contest the final of the Olympic men’s 100m for the first time in two decades, as the event culminated on Sunday.

In the end, history was made as the title went to Italy’s Marcell Jacobs, which was the first time that country was winning the title.  At the starter blocks, however, the famous black, green, and gold gear, which has become synonymous with speed, particularly over the last decade, was nowhere to be seen.

The country’s two representatives in the event Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville exited the competition at the semi-final stage.  Seville failed to advance after finishing fourth in semi-final two, with a time of 10.09.  Blake saw his bid come to an end after finishing a disappointing 6th in semi-final 1, with a time of 10.14.  The country’s other entrant Tyquendo Tracey, Jamaica's national champion, pulled out of the competition before the heats after sustaining an injury.

It was a particularly disappointing end for Blake, likely to be in his final Olympics. For several years he was considered the heir apparent to compatriot Usain Bolt, who dominated the event for the last three editions, the first man in history to do so.  Blake has the second-fastest time ever run over the event (9.69) and finished just behind the great sprinter at the 2012 edition of the Games in London.

Since sustaining devastating hamstring injuries in 2013 and 2014, however, Blake has not come close to rediscovering his best form.  At the previous edition of the event in Rio 2016, he finished just outside the medals behind Canada's Andre De Grasse, the USA’s Justin Gatlin, and Bolt.

 

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