Athletics News

Ceccarelli and Jacobs complete Italian job

Ceccarelli and Jacobs complete Italian job

One-two in men’s 60m for the Azzuri at European Indoors in Istanbul as Brits are left struggling for pace

Samuele Ceccarelli beat Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs at the Italian indoor championships and the little-known 23-year-old repeated the feat at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul on Saturday night as he scorched to a 6.48 victory ahead of Jacobs’ 6.50.

Henrik Larsson took bronze in a Swedish record of 6.53 but the British duo of Jeremiah Azu and Reece Prescod could not maintain their country’s fine record in this event. Azu ran 6.58 in sixth, while Prescod was eighth and last in 6.64 after an underpar start.

Blasting out of the blocks, Ceccarelli proved impossible to catch as he sped to gold. It will be interesting to see this summer if he can improve his modest outdoor PBs of 10.45 for 100m and 21.60 for 200m.

To beat Jacobs is some accomplishment as well given that in addition to winning gold in Tokyo in 2021 he is the reigning world indoor champion and European 60m record-holder with 6.41. Jacobs was however struggling with a hamstring injury and his legs were covered in kinesio tape.

Euro Indoors 60m final (Getty)

“To become the European champion – that sounds great and I am over the moon because it is the first time in the Italian senior team, my first time competing at such championships, and the first win,” said Ceccarelli. “So I could not be more happy than this.”

Ceccarelli added: “He (Jacobs) was happy for me and said a few words in the finish. We keep the gold medal at home in Italy so he was happy for me. He is like my big brother.”

A disappointed Azu said: “I can’t remember the race. I need to watch it back. I’m not too sure where I went wrong. It was over so quickly. You haven’t got time to think in a 60m. I felt I got out well but it’s the final so everyone’s going to get out well. You need more than that. So it’s just back to training now.”

Prescod added: “It wasn’t my night tonight. No excuses. And I’m not going to be too down about it. I’ve had a good season so far. I’ve got a week off to chill now and then I’ll go back to work and come out for the 100 metres.”

Fellow Brit Eugene Amo-Dadzie, who works as an accountant part-time when he’s not sprint training, got through his heat but bowed out at the semi-final stage in 6.64.

“It was awesome,” said the 30-year-old, who did not start training seriously until he was 26. “I’m hungry for more. It was nice to…

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