Olympics

'It's Definitely Not Coming Home!': Italy's 4x100m Relay Win Brings Euros Flashbacks

'It's Definitely Not Coming Home!': Italy's 4x100m Relay Win Brings Euros Flashbacks

Things you love to see this summer: Italy beating England/Team GB. There's a pattern there.

The men's and women's 4x100m relay is always one of the highlights of the athletics action at Tokyo 2020.

After the US's howler in the men's heats, Jamaica and Canada were two of the favourites going into the event; the latter helped by 200m gold medalist Andre De Grasse.

Italy were fourth favourites, with Lamont Marcell Jacobs being their star runner having won 100m gold at this year's Olympics.

The race didn't pan out as expected, as Jamaica found themselves behind the leading pack. Without the US, the race was always going to be open.

It turned out to be a battle between Team GB and Italy down the final stretch. Italian Filippo Tortu was hairs behind GB's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake with several strides to go.

Miraculously, Tortu managed to close the gap somewhat, and his head won it for Italy by the finest of margins. One thousandth of a second in the end.

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While it was seen as somewhat of an overachievement for Team GB to win silver, the RTÉ punditry team couldn't help but have a crack at the Italian narrative of the win.

"It's definitely not coming home," Rob Heffernan joked. "Whether it was the football in the summer, spilt into the athletics thing going into the Olympics, there's just such a belief through the team."

"The Roman Empire is well and truly alive again isn't it?" Heffernan said, which was greeted with a rupture of laughter in the RTÉ studio.

"With the U.S. team out of it, it just opened the door for so many different teams. They just went after it," Sonia O'Sullivan added.

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The video above is a prize possession of comedy from the BBC commentary team. "Is it going to be gold for Great Britain? No it's Italy!".

Back to the Irish coverage.

"Filippo Tortu, he's an interesting character," Sonia O'Sullivan said after the race. "He just has a belief in himself that he can do anything."

Heffernan had heaps of admiration for the Italians. "It was an absolutely incredible race," he said.

That's one way to continue sporting rivalry. Italy win over Team GB to take gold. You couldn't have made it up.

See Also: Rob Heffernan Hails 'Professional' Irish Racewalkers After Gruelling Race

Rob Heffernan

Jonathan Byrne

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