ISTANBUL, Turkey – Italian athlete Samuele Ceccarelli pulled off another shock victory against Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs, this time clinching the European title. Ceccarelli bolted away early in the race and held his position to win the gold medal with a time of 6.48 seconds to win the men’s 60m title at the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships held at the Ataköy Arena in Istanbul on Saturday, March 4, leaving Jacobs with the silver medal.
Ceccarelli had a quiet start to the championship, finishing second in his heat. However, the relatively unknown sprinter made a spectacular comeback, clocking in a new personal best of 6.47 seconds in the semi-final to qualify for the final.
In the final race, he managed to hold his lead and secure the gold medal with a time just 0.01 seconds slower than his semi-final. Read More: Warholm and Bol win European Indoors 400m titles – Day 3
Watch Samuele Ceccarelli Beat Lamont Jacobs in Istanbul
“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. So I could not be more happy than this,” an elated Ceccarelli said after his victory.
Jacobs, who was aiming to win back-to-back European Athletics Indoor Championships 60m titles, had to settle for the silver medal today.
Jacobs Suffers From Hamstring Problem
The heavily taped Italian sprinter, running at less than 100-percent, had a slow start but made a late surge before ultimately running out of real estate in his comeback push in the final few meters to finish with a time of 6.50 seconds.
“This is not the medal that I wanted, I obviously wanted the gold,” admits Jacobs, who was carrying a hamstring niggle. “My leg wasn’t the best today, it was really tough today.
“My team mate did great. I am the captain of Italian national team and I am satisfied with medals we brought to the team.”
Henrik Larsson Happy With Bronze, Wanted Faster Time
Sweden’s Henrik Larsson continued his excellent form at the championship, setting another national record with a time of 6.53 seconds to win the bronze medal. Dominik Kopeć of Poland finished fourth, also clocking the same time for a personal best.
“I know I ran 6.56 and I can run faster,” said Larsson. “I was in between Prescod and Jacobs and I knew if I stick close to them I might have a shot at the medal.
“Bronze medal means to me so much. I had some success in my youth and younger days but taking a senior medal is completly different world.”
Meanwhile, despite being one of the pre-race favorites, British champion Reece Prescod made a disastrous start and finished last with a time of 6.64 seconds, the only athlete in the final who failed to run under 6.60 seconds.