Marcell Jacobs Makes Season Debut at Rome Sprint Festival

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Olympic 100 metres champion Marcell Jacobs triumphed in the 100 metres with a time of 10.07, aided by a +1.1 m/s tailwind, at the Sprint Festival track meeting. This race, held on the new track at Stadio dei Marmi in Rome's Foro Italico, marked his first 100 metres race on European soil this season. Jacobs improved his seasonal best from 10.11, set at the East Coast Relays in Jacksonville on April 27, where he finished just 0.003 seconds behind his training partner, André De Grasse.

Jacobs has been training in Jacksonville under coach Rana Reider since last autumn. His training group includes notable sprinters like André De Grasse, Trayvon Bromell, and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown.

"The race went well, but I made some mistakes at the start, which are making me slower than I know I can be," Jacobs commented. "If I had managed to get my start going as I had during the warm-up, it would have been a different race because the start is the basis from which you can reach top speed. I was missing that, but I am very happy with the second part of the race. I would have liked to do something better. I am happy to compete in this atmosphere in front of Italian fans. The support from the crowd was amazing. I really enjoyed this competition a lot. The crowd always brings the best out of me. My training has been affected by allergies in the past two days. I could not breathe well after the race. It took time to recover, but I am now feeling well. I will compete in Ostrava on May 28 and Oslo on May 30. Competing as much as possible will allow me to put the pieces together and get ready for the European Championships in Rome."

World indoor 60 metres finalist Chituru Ali finished second with a time of 10.11, narrowly missing his personal best by five hundredths of a second. Ali had previously improved his personal best to 10.06 in Dubai earlier this year. Matteo Melluzzo secured third place, improving his personal best by eight hundredths of a second to 10.13.

"I am now in the World Athletics ranking to qualify for the European Championships and the Olympic Games. I will enjoy myself at the European Championships in Rome. The crowd gave me a lot of energy. They were amazing," said Chituru Ali.

World indoor 60 metres bronze medallist Zaynab Dosso won the women's 200 metres in 23.10, just days after setting a new Italian 100 metres record of 11.02 in Savona.

"It was like a training session for me. The track is very fast. I started very fast, but I struggled a little bit in the final 80 metres," remarked Zaynab Dosso.

Italian 17-year-old rising star Elisa Valensin finished second, improving Dalia Kaddari's Italian under-20 record to 23.15. Alice Mangione set her personal best, clocking 23.16.

"I felt during a race in Bergamo last week that I could break this record. I felt the energy from the crowd on this fantastic track. The time was faster than I expected. It's an unbelievable feeling to run against Zaynab Dosso," said Elisa Valensin.

Olympic 4x100 relay champion Filippo Tortu won the 200 metres in 20.72, ahead of Marco Ricci, who clocked 20.97.

"I made everything wrong. It was a tough race when I came off the bend. I expected to run a better race. I am disappointed by the time. The only positive aspect is the support from the crowd," commented Filippo Tortu.

In the men's 400 metres, USA's Trevor Stewart claimed victory with a time of 45.86, defeating Italian specialists Vladimir Aceti (46.05) and Riccardo Meli (46.47).

Lisanne De Witte from the Netherlands won the women's 400 metres in 52.38, beating Camille Laus from Belgium (52.67) and Giancarla Trevisan from Italy (52.69).

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