The athletes were already gone but it didn’t matter. The party in the stands went on without them as the members of the Italian delegation joyfully sang along with the song being played at National Stadium on another golden night for their nation at the Tokyo Olympics.
Italian anchor Filippo Tortu used a blazing final 100 to run down Great Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake to lead Italy to another Olympic track and field gold medal with a win in the men’s 4×100-meter relay final on Friday night.
Tortu wasn't aware of fast he ran his leg and didn't seem too concerned about it afterward.
"We are champions," Tortu said. "We don’t care about changes and splits."
Italy set a national record with a time of 37.50 seconds to reach the finish line just ahead of Great Britain, which finished in 37.51. Canada took the bronze in 37.70.
The Japanese team of Shuhei Tada, Ryota Yamagata, Yoshihide Kiryu and Yuki Koike failed to make their first baton pass and did not finish.
“I’m just filled with a feeling of regret right now,” Tada said.
Tada got off to a very good start for the Japanese, but the baton pass between he and Yamagata went awry as Japan failed to follow up on the silver it won at the Rio Games in 2016.
“I don’t know what caused the miss,” Tada said. "I want to do a review and make improvements."
Italy won a medal in the 4×100 for the first time since 1948. The nation is tied with the United States with five gold medals in athletics, a total that also includes Lamont Marcell Jacobs’ gold in the men’s 100-meter final and Gianmarco Tamberi’s Olympic title in men’s high jump.
Jacobs, who ran the second leg for Italy, is the second Italian to claim two gold medals in track and field.
Italy has had plenty to celebrate this year. The relay team gave the nation its 10th gold of the Tokyo games and the Italian soccer team won the Euro 2020 title in July.
“This is the year of Italy, this is our year," Jacobs said. "We won the Eurovision, we won the European football championship, we won five gold medals."
Jamaica won the women’s 4×100 in a national record time of 41.02. The United States was second and Great Britain earned bronze.
"The main focus was getting the stick around," Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce said. "We knew once we got it around we would do very well. We didn't get a world record tonight but we got a national record. Elaine (Thompson-Herah) got a third gold medal and we are all going home with a gold."
Thompson-Herah also won gold in the women's 100 and 200-meter races.
"I was just excited for the team to come out here and put on a show," she said. "The feeling is surreal to capture three golds and we got a national record. We are grateful."
Shaunae Miller-Uibo defended her title in the women’s 400 meters, pulling away to win in a time of 48.36 seconds. Silver went to the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino, who finished in 49.20. Allyson Felix, the United States’ veteran track and field star, placed third in 49.46, just ahead of Jamaican Stephenie Ann McPherson, who finished in 49.46.
Felix, competing in her fifth Olympics, earned the 10th medal of her career to move into a tie with track and field legend Carl Lewis for the most by a U.S. athlete. The bronze made her the most decorated female athlete in Olympic track and field.
China's Liu Shiying won the women's javelin throw and Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei took gold in the men's 5,000 meters. Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won gold in the women's 1,500 meters.
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