Marcell Jacobs sets sights on sub-10 performance at Sprint Festival in Rome


Marcell Jacobs sets sights on sub-10 performance at Sprint Festival in Rome

Festus Chuma 09:35 - 18.05.2024

The Italian is aiming to break the 10-second barrier in Rome as he gears up for his Olympic title defence in Paris.

Double Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs is brimming with confidence as he prepares to compete in his first European 100 meters race since his stunning triumph at the Tokyo Olympics.

 Returning to Italy for the Sprint Festival in Rome, Jacobs aims to dip under the elusive 10-second mark, setting the stage for his title defense at the Paris Olympics this summer.

Jacobs, who captured the world's attention with his two gold medals at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games, is set to race in Rome on Saturday. 

This marks the beginning of a series of pre-Olympic competitions in Europe, following his intensive training sessions in Florida. 

Speaking to reporters, Jacobs expressed optimism about his current form.

 "If everything goes as well as possible then yes, I can, given how I've been running in my most recent training sessions. But you have to do it on the track," he said as per AFP.

Assuming he remains injury-free, Jacobs' busy schedule includes the Ostrava Golden Spike on May 28 and the Oslo Diamond League events two days later. 

These competitions will culminate in his defense of the European 100m title in Rome next month. 

His ultimate goal is to defend his 100m and 4x100m relay Olympic crowns in Paris.

"I go on the track to run faster than the rest and win everything I can, I won't hide that. But I don't have a time in mind, I just want to perform as best I can, get into the finals which is what really matters because once you're there you know that anything can happen," he noted.

Jacobs, also the 60m world champion, has faced a series of muscular issues that hampered his performance, notably at last year's World Championships in Budapest where he was eliminated in the semi-finals.

 However, he believes his decision to move from Italy to the United States and train under coach Rana Reider has been transformative. 

Reider's training group in Florida includes American sprinter Trayvon Bromell, Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse, and Japanese sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown.

In his opening race of the season in Jacksonville, Jacobs finished second to Bromell, a two-time world bronze medallist.

 "These last few months away from it all have allowed me to get back in touch with myself, with what I really want from life and from the track. I remember when I was a kid and I went on the track, it was a perfect world where I was happy... it had got to the point where it wasn't like that anymore. Right now I can say that I'm happy, at peace, carefree and that I'm doing what I love most. I'm enjoying it," he concluded.

Jacobs' newfound joy and peace are expected to fuel his performance as he gears up for the highly competitive track season. 

His return to Europe is eagerly anticipated by fans and fellow athletes alike with many keen to see if he can indeed break the 10-second barrier once more.

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