There was a time in the 100metres where there was only ever one winner.
But in this most unpredictable of Olympic finals, it was Lamont Marcell Jacobs who come out with a surprise gold.
Moments after Gianmarco Tamberi had shared gold in a dramatic high-jump final with Mutaz Barshim, another Italian, who had considered himself initially more a long jumper than a sprinter, celebrated gold in a time of 9.80seconds. The pair warmly embraced across the finishing line.
Athletics has been crying out for a successor to Usain Bolt as the fastest man on the planet. The favourite to do so, the American Trayvon Bromell did not even make it to the final.
In addition, Bolt’s heir apparent, Christian Coleman, was not even here after a four-year doping ban for whereabouts testing failures.
Instead, it was the American-born Jacobs, who moved to Italy as an 18-month old who dominated the final. It was a first European Olympic champion since Linford Christie in 1992.
Prior to this season, Jacobs had never dipped under 10s but had got quicker each season, a best of 9.99 at the start of July prior to personal bests in the semi-final and then final.
Afterwards, the Texas-born Jacobs said: “It’s amazing, fantastic, a dream, Olympic champion in 100. It’s incredible. No words. My big objective was arrive in the final... run 100% and now this has happened. In Italy now, it’s a big party like the European football.”
The silver went to Fred Kerley, who had dropped down from the 400m to the 100m in terms of distance, with the bronze going to Andre de Grasse. China’s Su Bingtian, who had been the form man in the semi-finals, failed to feature in sixth.
Britain’s Zharnel Hughes had been disqualified in the British trials and, unforgivably, it was the same again in the Olympic final. He flew out of the blocks well before the gun sounded and shook his head as he left the track – the final down from eight men to seven.
“My left calf cramped and I moved,” said Hughes. “Just gutted. I feel that if I was in that final I would have walked away with the final, no doubt about it. I can’t describe it. It hurts a lot, second time again. Disappointed.”