Lamont Marcell Jacobs took just 9.80 seconds to win the 100m flat race. The sixth classified of the race, the “slowest” among the athletes who completed the race, took just 18 hundredths of a second longer than the winner. A nullity.
Although this race is resolved in just ten seconds, the 100 meters are perhaps the most important event of the entire Olympics, capable of launching careers, creating myths, turning an Olympic path around. Ten insignificant seconds every four years, with a difference between the first and the last that only precision instruments are able to calculate.
By now the importance of this match seems so obvious to us that we don’t even wonder why such a rapid competition has the relevance it has, just we who judge 90-minute football matches in which there is time to change sides as exciting. goleade and comebacks. But the hundred meters condense in those ten seconds a competitive spirit that is not always easily found elsewhere.
In the meantime, let’s talk about a race with very clear rules, so clear and simple to remember a childhood game. Net of those small but fundamental rules for which everyone must start at the same time and no one must invade other people’s lanes, it is very simply a matter of assigning the victory to whoever arrives first at a goal. So simple and clear that it perhaps represents the archetype of the sports competition.
But what’s more, there is a concentration of competitive spirit that makes athletes able to reach the top of the competition of uniquely talented athletes. Winning the 100 meters means combining speed and strength and putting them on the field in a few seconds: in doing so, year after year, champion after champion, the record has slowly lowered, coming first to fall below the symbolic threshold of 10 seconds, up to to the record current of 9.58 seconds bearing the signature of Usain Bolt. A race that has become even shorter than it already was, and at the same time more epic, raising the bar to be champions: a pride for our country to finally be able to sculpt our flag also in this Olympic race .