Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs gives his opinion on Noah Lyles & the current sprinting landscape

Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs gives his opinion on Noah Lyles & the current sprinting landscape

Abigael Wafula 19:45 - 06.06.2024

Marcell Jacobs has admitted he faces a tough task to defend his Olympics title following the emergence of top sprinters like Noah Lyles and Co.

Defending Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs believes the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are very uncertain with the current crop of sprinters.

Recent years have seen the emergence of top sprinters including triple world champion Noah Lyles, world 100m silver medallist Letsile Tebogo, Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala and Great Britain’s fastest man Zharnel Hughes among others.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Athletics Weekly, Jacobs admitted the men’s 100m is very open and just like the delayed 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, you never really know who can win the race.

“It is a very open Olympics. It’s always like that in the championships. In Tokyo, everyone thought that Trayvon Bromell was going to win," said Jacobs.

“Everyone else was racing to see who’d come in second. Well, in the end, Bromell wasn’t even in the final. You always have to look to the final and what you’re aiming at it being there on the start line."

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Meanwhile, Jacobs is not glued on running faster times and his main focus remains winning medals since he believes there will always be people who will come and run faster.

“Times don’t matter. What counts is the medal. There’s always going to be someone who runs faster than you do but no one can take away your medal. Sure, you are concentrating on running the best race possible but what stays with you is the medal around your neck,” he added.

Before the Paris 2024 Olympics, a huge task of defending his title awaits him at the European Championships scheduled from June 7 to 12 where he will be competing on home soil.

He has admitted to pressure ahead of the showpiece but he remains unfazed as he looks to impress the home crowd and also monitor his progress in training.

“The European Championships at home are always welcome and it’ll be exciting for me. Racing at the Stadio Olimpico means that there will be a great atmosphere," said Jacobs.

“I can’t wait to see everyone in the stands and to feel the excitement and electricity that’s going to be in the stadium. There are two sides to it though.

“There will be an incredible energy present but there will also be pressure because I’m the defending European 100m champion and people will be expecting a lot from me. They want great things. There will be pressure to perform."