Italy's sprint sensation Lamont Marcell Jacobs returned home as a national hero after dominating the Tokyo Olympics.
Jacobs became the first Italian to win 100 metres gold, setting a European record time of 9.80 seconds in the final. He was also part of his country’s triumphant 4x100m relay team.
It capped the country's best performance in the Games' history; Italy won 40 medals in Tokyo, a new national record which was comfortably better than the previous best hauls of 36 in 1960 and 1932.
“I would never have imagined such an amazing Olympics even in my dreams, to win two gold medals and to be flag bearer at the closing was incredible,” Jacobs told reporters, after hugging his mother and friends upon arrival.
Also on the return flight to Rome from Tokyo were the five members of Italy's rhythmic gymnastics team who won bronze, earning Italy the 40th medal.