Jacobs looking for redemption upon Rome return

The Olympic champion is determined to make up for lost time

Jacobs has two title to defend this summer, starting off with his European crown in Rome
Jacobs has two title to defend this summer, starting off with his European crown in Rome (European Athletics via Getty Images)

Olympic and European 100m champion Marcell Jacobs is looking for redemption as he returns home to defend his title at the European Athletics Championships in Rome next month.

The Italian burst onto the world stage with two gold medals at Tokyo 2020, setting a European record of 9.80 as he won the 100m title before earning his second gold as part of Italy's 4x100m relay team.

But he has endured a challenging time in the intervening years, missing two 100m finals at consecutive World Championships and Jacobs is determined to make up for lost time.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia, he said: "I can't wait to be there.

"Running at home will be a fantastic experience.

"I'm looking for redemption after two difficult seasons.

"This year, I will be happy if I manage to defend both my 100m titles at the European Athletics Championships and the Olympics."

After the surprise triumph in Tokyo 2020, Jacobs followed up his success by capturing the World Indoor 60m title in Belgrade, setting another European record of 6.41 as well as taking home gold in the 100m at the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships.

But after missing the World Championship 100m final twice due to a recurring back problem, these achievements were swiftly forgotten, and the Italian became increasingly defined by his absences.

He revealed to the Guardian: "People’s criticism really hit me hard,

"It came from everywhere – from Italy and abroad, as if I wasn’t competing because I was afraid.

"I’ve never been afraid of anything in my life.

"I wasn’t competing because I wasn’t able to.

"It was a difficult time because you train to get results and not getting them was hard.

"The two post-Olympic years were difficult years and I really needed something that would spark me."

He added: "Over the years I’ve learned that I have to focus on what I want and what I believe I can do. Not to show others, but to show myself.

"A lot of things have happened in the two and a half years since I won gold, so I need to show myself what I can do."

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