Athletics News

Marcell Jacobs v Fred Kerley at Florence Diamond League

Marcell Jacobs v Fred Kerley at Florence Diamond League

Sprint showdown to take place between Olympic and world 100m champion in Italy on June 2

Marcell Jacobs and Fred Kerley will go head-to-head against each other at the Florence Diamond League (June 2) in a battle between two of the biggest heavyweights in men’s sprinting.

The Olympic and world champion have exchanged words across social media for the past couple of months but now they will do the talking on the track.

At the press conference for last week’s Doha Diamond League (May 5), Kerley said: “If it [100m race v Jacobs] happens, I will win. If he’d show up? I don’t know.”

It’s set to be a blockbuster occasion in Florence with the pair only having raced each other over 100m on just two occasions.

The first was at the Monaco Diamond League in 2021 and then at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jacobs got the better of Kerley in both events but the American has since become world 100m champion and gone faster than the man who beat him to the Olympic gold medal.

Kerley is now joint-sixth on the 100m all-time list with 9.76, a time recorded at the US trials for last year’s World Championships in Oregon. Jacobs’ personal best is the 9.80 he set in that Olympic final.

The man who shares that place with Kerley on the all-time list is Trayvon Bromell. The world 100m bronze medallist and current Diamond League champion will also line-up against both Kerley and Jacobs in what could be one of the most eye-catching sprint races on the calendar before the World Championships in Budapest.

Jacobs is yet to open up outdoors this season. At the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, he lost out on 60m gold to fellow Italian teammate Samuele Ceccarelli, who is also on the start list for Florence.

Kerley on the other hand has raced over 200m twice and 400m once so far this year. He will compete in his first 100m outing at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama on May 21.

The Golden Gala Pietro Mennea – which has moved from Rome to Florence this year because of the late finish to the Serie A season – has a rich history of providing drama and records.

The Tuscan capital first…

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