Italy continues stunning track and field Olympics with 4x100m relay gold

Posted at 6:06 AM, Aug 06, 2021


Italy added the finishing touch to an already magical track and field performance at Tokyo Olympics with a gold medal in a thrilling men's 4x100m relay final. 

Lorenzo PattaEseosa DesaluMarcell Jacobs and Filippo Tortu finished in 37.50, edging out Great Britain's foursome by one one-hundredth of a second.

Tortu's spirited anchor leg caught and passed Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake in the closing strides for Italy's unprecedented fifth track and field gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics. Prior to Tokyo, the country had never won more than three at any single Games. 

Earlier in the day Friday, race walker Antonella Palmisano took gold in the woman's 20k walk. Massimo Stano won the men's version of the event the day prior. On Sunday, Gianmarco Tamberi famously shared the men's high jump gold medal and, minutes later, Jacobs won the men's 100m in a huge upset.

Chijindu UjahZharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake of Great Britain won the silver while Aaron BrownJerome BlakeBrendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse finished in 37.70 to take bronze.

DeGrasse extended his streak of winning a medal of some color in every Olympic event he's entered to six.

Teams from Jamaica and Japan were expected to reach the podium after going 1-2 in Rio, but the home team dropped the baton on its first exchange and the 2016 champions Jamaica finished fifth. 

The reigning world champion United States men's 4x100m relay team didn't race in the final after failing to advance beyond Thursday's preliminary heatsTrayvon BromellFred KerleyRonnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the second of two heats in 38.10, falling two hundredths of a second short of the final.