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Simbine upstages Jacobs over 100m at Oslo Diamond League

South African Akani Simbine upstaged <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/teams/italy-women/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Italy;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Italy</a>'s Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs over 100m at the Diamond League meet in Oslo (Heiko Junge)

South African Akani Simbine timed a season's best 9.94 seconds to upstage Italy's Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs over 100m at the Diamond League meet in Oslo on Thursday.

Simbine was slow out of the blocks but produced a strong second half and a savage dip to claim victory ahead of Japan's Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, in 9.99sec.

Cameroon's Emmanuel Eseme rounded out the podium in 10.01sec, with Jacobs finishing fourth (10.03).

"It ended up in the rain which probably influenced the race but at the end of the day we all have to run 100m rain or not and get to the line first," said Simbine.

"I did that today which I am happy with but I have a lot to work on and a lot to do. I am happy with my performance and I hope there will be more highlights coming up as we build towards the Olympic Games."

Simbine, 30, added: "I put my marker out to the world today that I am here. The goal was the win today and I did that. Getting the win always helps with confidence as we get closer to Paris."

Jacobs, 29, said his attention would now turn the June 7-12 European Championships in Rome.

"I am good but I haven't yet run sub-10, but today it was important to get a good feeling in my race," the Italian said.

"I did that today and I start getting in shape to run the best in my home town in Rome at the European Championships in front of my people."

- Crippling injuries -

After racing to a shock gold at the Covid-delayed Tokyo Games in 2021, backed up by a second gold in the 4x100m relay, Jacobs followed with victories over the world indoor 60m in Belgrade in 2022 and the 100m at the European championships later that year.

But he has suffered a number of crippling injuries, something he has said led him to moving from Italy to the United States to train in Rana Reider's camp alongside Canada'a Olympic 200m champion Andre de Grasse and Sani Brown among others.

"The last two years have been difficult with injury but now I have moved to the US for training and have a new coach so things are going well," Jacobs said.

"It is Olympic year and I want to defend my title of course, so I mustn't push my body too quickly too soon but I will be ready."

Sani Brown was left beaming with his second place, his time perhaps saving him a tiring trip home to Japan.

"It went better than I expected today," he said. "My season has been very up and down and two weeks ago when I raced I wasn't happy with my race so I have reset and changed a few things.

"Today was much better but of course there is always more to work on. I am going to Stockholm tomorrow to race the Diamond League on Sunday.

"This is good experience for championship racing with the rounds where you have to get faster every round. Tonight I got the qualification standard for Japan's team so I may not have to travel for trials which will be great news for me and means I can stay in Europe for longer."

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