Marcell Jacobsthe Olympic 100m champion from Italy, has been forced to withdraw from Saturday’s Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco, where he was set to face off against world 100m champion Fred Kerley. Jacobs cited mild sciatica as the reason for his withdrawal from it.
“I am forced to skip the 100m and the first face-off with Kerley in Rabat, which I was really looking forward to, due to a sacral nerve block that I’m working on resolving in the short term,” Jacobs said in a tweet. “It’s the result of a misstep and not an injury, which does however keep me from competing in Morocco. I’m in strong physical shape technically and ready for a great outdoor season. The challenge is only postponed.”
Although Jacobs will miss the Rabat meet on May 27, he and Kerley are still scheduled to compete against each other at a Diamond League meet in Florence, Italy, on June 2, provided that Jacobs’ sciatica treatment resolves in the next week or so.
— Fred Kerley (@fkerley99) May 25, 2023
Jacobs experienced several setbacks last season, missing most of it including the world championships, due to health issues. Meanwhile, Kerley’s main competitors in the upcoming race will be fellow American Trayvon Bromellthe world bronze medalist, and Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya, the fastest man in the world this year with a time of 9.84 seconds.
The last time the reigning Olympic and world men’s 100m champions faced each other in a race was in the 2012 London Olympic final, featuring Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. Following Bolt’s reign from 2013 to 2017, he retired as Olympic champion until Jacobs surprised the world with his victory in Tokyo, where Kerley claimed silver and Canada’s victory Andre DeGrasse won bronze.