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Could the Olympic 100m champion miss the Paris Games?

Italy's Marcell Jacobs has not yet qualified for the Paris Olympics in the men's 100m, and he might not be racing anytime soon

Marcell Jacobs Photo by: Kevin Morris

Italy’s Marcell Lamont Jacobs stunned the world three years ago in Tokyo when he won gold in the 100m, becoming the first sprinter not named Usain Bolt to win the 100m since Athens 2004. However, since his Olympic win, Jacobs has wrestled with nerve pain in his legs, which has cast some uncertainty over whether he will be ready to defend his title in Paris.

Marcell Jacobs
Italy’s Marcell Jacobs clutches his leg after the 60m final at the 2023 European Indoor Championships. Photo: James Rhodes (@jrhodesathletics)

On Monday, Jacobs posted a cryptic message on X (Twitter): “It’s April and I haven’t competed yet.. surely the season is already over! I’m sorry.” He followed this up with another tweet the next day, indicating that his 100m debut on the track might not happen until the Paris Olympics.

Jacobs, 29, has not competed since last September and has not yet qualified for the Paris Olympics in the 100m, so he would need to compete before then to qualify. Despite not reaching the 100m final in the last two World Athletics Championships, he played a pivotal role in helping Italy win a silver medal in the 4x100m relay. 

According to his coach, Rana Reider, Jacobs is back to training, focusing on strength-building in the gym to prevent recurring injuries. Jacobs shared a video on Instagram last week showing him training on an zero-gravity treadmill, a device commonly used by athletes during injury rehabilitation.

Although he is listed on Italy’s 4x100m relay team for the World Relays next week, Jacobs’ participation remains uncertain. This summer is a crucial season for many European track and field stars, with the European Championships scheduled for Rome in June, followed by the Olympic Games in Paris just a month later.

Jacobs has a personal best of 9.80 seconds in the 100m (the European record). He is also the defending European champion in the event.

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