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Marcell Jacobs facts for kids

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Jacobs in 2020
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Personal information
Full name Lamont Marcell Jacobs Jr.
Born 26 September 1994 (1994-09-26) (age 27)
El Paso, Texas, United States
Height 1.88 m
Weight 79 kg
Sport
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Long jump
Sprinting
Club G.S. Fiamme Oro
Coached by Paolo Camossi
Gianni Lombardi
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)
  • 60 m: 6.47 (2021) NR
  • 100 m: 9.80 (2021) AR
  • 200 m: 20.61 (2018)
  • 4×100 m relay: 37.50 (2021) NR
  • Long jump: 8.07 m (i) (2017)

Lamont Marcell Jacobs Jr. (born 26 September 1994) is an Italian track and field sprinter and long jumper. He is the 2020 100 metres Olympic champion, the 2021 60 metres European champion, and a member of the gold medal-winning 4 × 100 m relay team at the 2020 Olympics. He currently holds the 100 metres European record, the 60 metres Italian record, and is the first Italian to ever qualify for and win the men's 100 metres Olympic final.

Biography

Early life

Jacobs is the son of Viviana Masini, an Italian woman, and Lamont Marcell Jacobs Sr., an African American serviceman. His parents met when his father was a United States Army soldier serving at Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy. His father was 18 and his mother was 16 at the time.

His parents married and relocated to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Three years later, Jacobs was born; when he was three weeks old, his father was transferred to South Korea and Jacobs moved to Desenzano del Garda, in Lombardy, Italy, with his mother. His parents split when he was six months old.

He started out playing basketball and football, where his football coach, Adriano Bertazzi, took notice of his speed and suggested that Jacobs try sprinting.

When Jacobs was ten, he began competing in athletics. He preferred sprinting until he discovered the long jump in 2011.

Personal life

Jacobs lives in Rome with his partner, Nicole Daza, and their two children, Anthony (born 2019) and Megan (born 2021). Jacobs has another son, Jeremy (born 2013), born from a previous relationship when Jacobs was nineteen.

Jacobs has been a dual citizen of both Italy and the United States since birth, due to his mother being Italian and to his father being American. However, Jacobs strictly identifies as being Italian.

Jacobs had been estranged from his father since he was an infant; however, in 2020, he reestablished a relationship with him at the suggestion of his mental coach. He cited that reconciling with his father gave him the motivation and peace of mind he needed to focus on winning in the Olympics.

Career

Long jump

In 2016, Jacobs won the Italian Athletics Championships in long jump. With a personal best of 8.07 meters, he ranked tenth on the IAAF (now World Athletics) world leading list at the end of the 2017 indoor season.

At the 2016 Italian U23 Championships, he jumped 8.48 meters, the best performance ever for an Italian, although this result was not recognized as a national record due to a 2.8 m/s tailwind, which was 0.8 m/s above the allowable maximum for any record performance.

Jacobs did not participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics due to a hamstring injury.

Sprinting

In 2019, Jacobs decided to focus his efforts exclusively on sprinting, citing frequent injuries while long jumping among the reasons for this switch.

In July 2019, Jacobs lowered his 100 metres personal best to 10.03 seconds, making him the third fastest Italian in history.

On 6 March 2021, Jacobs won the 60 metres European title at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships held in Toruń, Poland, setting a new national record and worldwide season best with a time of 6.47 seconds.

On 13 May 2021, in Savona, Italy, Jacobs set the Italian record in the 100 metres with a time of 9.95 seconds, becoming the 150th person in history and the second Italian to break the 10-second barrier. On 26 June 2021, into a headwind of −1.0 m/s in Rovereto, he broke the Italian championship record with a time of 10.01 seconds, winning his fourth national title in a row.

2020 Olympics

Jacobs and Tortu 2020
Jacobs (left) and teammate Filippo Tortu at Resisprint 2020.

Jacobs won his first 100 metres heat at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 9.94 seconds, improving his own Italian record by 0.01. In the semi-final, he was third with a time of 9.84 seconds, setting a new European record and qualifying for the final with the third overall fastest time. He is the first Italian to ever reach the Olympic final.

In the final, Jacobs won the gold medal with a time of 9.80 seconds. Jacobs is the first Italian to win the gold medal in the event, and the first European to win since Linford Christie won the event at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

His effort broke the European record he set in the semi-final earlier that day, recording the fastest time ever run by an athlete that is neither American or Jamaican. Due to this performance, Jacobs is tied with Steve Mullings as the 10th fastest man of all time. Jacobs was not favored to win the race, with bookmakers giving him a three percent chance of winning.

Jacobs later won a second gold medal in the 4×100 metres as part of the Italian relay team, along with Lorenzo Patta, Fausto Desalu and Filippo Tortu. It was the first time Italy had ever won this event, and also the first time Italy had earned a medal in the event in 73 years. Jacobs ran the team's second leg, contributing to its total run time of 37.50 seconds, setting a new Italian record.

Due to his outstanding achievements, Jacobs was selected by the Italian Olympic Committee to be Italy's flag bearer during the Olympics closing ceremony.

Statistics

European records

  • 100 metres: 9.80 (+0.2 m/s; Japan Tokyo, 1 August 2021). Current holder

National records

International competition

Year Competition Venue Position Event Performance Notes
2016 Mediterranean U23 Championships Tunisia Tunis 1st Long jump 8.07 m PB
European Championships Netherlands Amsterdam 11th Long jump 7.59 m
2017 European Indoor Championships Serbia Belgrade Qual. Long jump 7.70 m
2018 European Championships Germany Berlin SF 100 m 10.28
2019 European Indoor Championships United Kingdom Glasgow Qual. Long jump N.M.
IAAF World Relays Japan Yokohama DNF 4×100 m relay no time
European Team Championships Poland Bydgoszcz 2nd 100 m 10.39
World Championships Qatar Doha SF 100 m 10.20
SF 4×100 m relay 38.11 NR
2021 European Indoor Championships Poland Toruń 1st 60 m 6.47 WL, NR, PB
World Relays Poland Chorzów 2nd 4×100 m relay 39.21
Olympic Games Japan Tokyo 1st 100 m 9.80 NR, ER, PB
1st 4×100 m relay 37.50 NR

Others meetings

Year Competition Venue Position Event Performance Notes
2021 BAUHAUS-galan Sweden Stockholm 2nd 100 m 10.05
Herculis Monaco Montecarlo 3rd 100 m 9.99

National competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Event Performance Notes
2016 U23 Italian Athletics Championships Italy Brixen 1st Long jump 8.48 m PB, w
Italian Athletics Championships Italy Rieti 1st Long jump 8.07 m PB|- 2017 Italian Athletics Indoor Championships Italy Rieti 1st Long jump 8.06 m - 2018 Italian Athletics Championships Italy Pescara 1st 100 m 10.24 - 2019 Italian Athletics Championships Italy Brixen 1st 100 m 10.10 - 2020 International Triveneto meeting Italy Trieste 1st 100 m 10.10
Italian Athletics Championships Italy Brixen 1st 100 m 10.10 w|- 2021 Italian Athletics Indoor Championships Italy Ancona 1st 60 m 6.55 - International Savona meeting Italy Savona 1st 100 m 9.95 NR
Italian Athletics Championships Italy Rovereto 1st 100 m 10.01 CR|-
* Denotes senior level national champion.

National titles

Jacobs won seven national championships at individual senior level.

  • Italian Athletics Championships
    • 100 m: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 (4)
    • Long jump: 2016 (1)
  • Italian Athletics Indoor Championships
    • 60 m: 2021 (1)
    • Long jump: 2017 (1)
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