Andre de Grasse (L), Lamont Marcell Jacobs and Fred Kerley

Italy’s Olympic 100m champion, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, has announced that he will be unable to compete in a highly anticipated sprint showdown with American athlete Fred Kerley due to a back injury. The two star sprinters were originally scheduled to race against each other at a Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco on May 28.

Jacobs expressed that he is currently dealing with a “slight lumbar-sacral block” and intends to resolve the issue as soon as possible. He assured his fans that he doesn’t expect a lengthy time out of competitive competition, but felt he needed to delay his return to the track.

In his statement, Jacobs stated, “Technically, I feel physically prepared and ready to have an exceptional outdoor season. However, this challenge will have to be put on hold temporarily.”

The upcoming opportunity for the pair to meet again in a Diamond League event will be in Florence, Italy on June 2.

During the 2020 Olympics held in Tokyo (delayed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic), Jacobs surprised the world by clinching the gold medal, outpacing Kerley. Jacobs achieved a remarkable time of 9.80 seconds, while Kerley finished with a time of 9.84 seconds, earning the silver medal. Canada’s Andre De Grasse secured the bronze medal with a time of 9.89 seconds.

In the absence of Jacobs, Kerley returned to win the gold medal at the World Championships last year in Eugene, Oregon.

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