Jacobs trumps Coleman for 60m crown

Italy's Olympic champion clocks 6.41sec to live up to his billing at World Indoor in Belgrade


AFP March 20, 2022

BELGRADE:

Italy's Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs trumped American rival Christian Coleman for 60m gold on the second day of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade on Saturday, while Yaroslava Mahuchikh claimed a memorable high jump title for war-ravaged Ukraine.

Jacobs had been a surprise winner of track's blue riband event at last summer's Tokyo Games where he also won gold as part of Italy's 4x100m relay quartet.

The Italian barely raced after his Japan exploits, but his return to the indoor circuit did not go unannounced and he lived up to all his promise in the Serbian capital.

Jacobs timed a winning 6.41 seconds as he produced a savage, perfectly-timed dip at the line to nudge ahead of defending champion and current world 100m title holder Coleman, making his comeback from an 18-month ban for breaking anti-doping rules.

Coleman's teammate Marvin Bracy claimed bronze in 6.44sec.

"I always have the same target: to be in best shape at the most important moment," said Jacobs after backing up his Olympic performances.

"When you win two Olympic gold medals, you cannot win by chance. This win can only compliment what I did last year. The two golds of last year are the two golds of the Olympic Games."

Jacobs now has a rare chance to "win whatever is possible to win in athletics" with the European and world outdoor champs to come this summer. "My target is this goal," he said.

Coleman said he had "mixed emotions" with his silver. "I can't say it's a disappointment," he said. "I came up a little short.

"It was a fun race and I look forward to the rivalry, the outdoor season... competing with these guys."

The scintillating sprint brought an end to Saturday's programme that had earlier seen Mahuchikh win a dramatic high jump gold, having fled her war-torn nation after the Russian invasion and making it to Belgrade after a tortuous three-day trip.

After holding her nerve amid "explosions, fires, and air raid sirens", the 20-year-old replicated her sang-froid in the Stark Arena, triumphing with a best of 2.02 metres in what she said was a "defence of Ukraine colours on the track in the international arena, to show that we are the strongest in the world".

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