Olympic champ Jacobs returns in Stockholm, eyes ideal shape for worlds

Jacobs kicked off the season with world 60m indoor gold in Belgrade, but a thigh injury in mid-May has disrupted track plans ahead of the 15-24 July worlds in Eugene, Oregon.

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs celebrates after winning the men's 100m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. Picture: Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

STOCKHOLM - Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs makes his Diamond League return from injury in Stockholm on Thursday, seeking to find a competitive rhythm a little more than two weeks out from the world championships.

Jacobs kicked off the season with world 60m indoor gold in Belgrade, but a thigh injury in mid-May has disrupted track plans ahead of the 15-24 July worlds in Eugene, Oregon.

The 27-year-old, a shock gold winner at the Tokyo Olympics last year, is slowly refinding some form, winning the Italian 100m title on the weekend, albeit in 10.12 seconds, far from the European record of 9.80sec he set when winning in the Japanese capital.

"I'm doing much better," Jacobs said Wednesday ahead of the Stockholm meet.

"I've been anxious to get back to the track. I'm super focused on the world championships, that's my target, to be in ideal shape for two weeks' time.

"My injury came at a crucial part of season so ruined my plans. But now it's important to compete as much as possible to get the competition feeling back on the road to Eugene."

Jacobs admitted a later decision would be taken on whether he squeezes in any more races before Eugene.

"I'm thinking about further competition in the US," he said.

"I leave for the US straight after Stockholm into a training camp in Oregon, where I'll decide if I compete in one more race."

Jacobs will face some stiff competition in his quest for world gold, notably from newly-crowned US champion Fred Kerley.

"I have a very good friendship with Fred. I can't wait to race against him and pit myself against the best," Jacobs said of the sprinter who won the highly-competitive US trials after running a world lead of 9.76sec.

"A gold medal is more important than a fast time!" the Italian insisted.

Jacobs will be up against South African Akani Simbine, fourth at the Tokyo Games, and the fastest European of the season, Briton Reece Prescod (9.93sec in Ostrava).