Athletics: "Flo-Jo", the myth and its questions for the first time approached

Marcell Jacobs wants to “maintain the standard” of Tokyo

Roma (AFP) – Marcell Jacobs, the unexpected Olympic champion in the 100 meters last summer, confides to AFP his ambition to “maintain the standard” reached in Tokyo, during this new season where the 27-year-old Italian sprinter knows he is expected, in particular by its American rivals.

At the Eugene Worlds in the United States next summer, he intends to “give a hard time” to their leader, Christian Coleman, absent in Tokyo for an anti-doping rule violation.

Question: How are the legs and the head after two indoor meetings?

Answer: “Mentally I’m fine, I would like to run every other day. Physically we’re getting back in shape. The first race (of the series over 60 meters in Berlin on February 4) was average because there were was a little tense after six months without competition. But from the second, I had fun.”

Q: How important is the indoor season to you?

Italian sprinter Marcell Jacobs, Olympic 100m champion in Tokyo, during an interview with AFP on February 14, 2022 in Rome Filippo MONTEFORTE AFP

A: “The 60 meters allows me to get out of my comfort zone, insofar as my strength (over 100 m, editor’s note), is from the 40, 50 meters. So I have to work a lot on the 30, First 40 meters to progress I would like to get as close as possible to the European record (Dwain Chambers in 6 sec 42, five hundredths faster than Jacobs’ best time), but the 60 m is not easy, you I can’t miss anything. My goal is above all to try to win everything possible to maintain the standard established in Tokyo.”

Q: Do you regret having ended last season immediately after your two gold medals (on 100m and 4x100m relay)?

A: “I missed the competition a lot, this adrenaline of challenging the opponents. But after the Games, I was exhausted, not only physically, but also mentally. I had started the indoor season, which the half of the athletes don’t do it, it had been long. I wanted to avoid hurting myself. I had to rest because this new season will also be important with two Worlds (indoors in March, outdoors in July).”

Q: From Tokyo, you are regularly questioned about suspicions of doping. Do you understand these doubts, expressed in particular by the British media, with regard to the cases having affected the sprint in the past?

Italian sprinter Marcell Jacobs, Olympic champion in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics, during training on February 14, 2022 in Rome
Italian sprinter Marcell Jacobs, Olympic champion in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics, during training on February 14, 2022 in Rome Filippo MONTEFORTE AFP

A: “At a certain point, continuing to talk about these things is quite sad on their part. If they can’t explain that someone other than the favorite has won, it’s not my fault. It’s not ok as long as they don’t have any type of proof that there have been cases in the past, we all know that, but that doesn’t mean there have to be. in the future.”

Q: How is this gain of nearly two tenths in your performance explained in a few months (from 9 sec 95 in May to 9 sec 80 in August)?

A: “In reality, already in 2018, it was possible to run under 10 seconds. But I was still doing the long jump. I was running in 10 sec 08, with a technique that was not perfect. In 2019, I achieved 10 sec 03 when I was still doing the length. Again, I could have gone down to 9 sec 94, 9 sec 95 if I had taken more care of the technique and everything that I worked on afterwards, when I I stopped the length. It should also be remembered that I have always had physical problems, I never ran without physical worries. Last year was the first season where I was able to run without these worries. This jump n So it wasn’t so sudden, it should have been done a while ago.”

Q: You are going to be one of the most watched athletes now, does that require any special attention?

Italian sprinter Marcell Jacobs, Olympic 100m champion in Tokyo, during an interview with AFP on February 14, 2022 in Rome
Italian sprinter Marcell Jacobs, Olympic 100m champion in Tokyo, during an interview with AFP on February 14, 2022 in Rome Filippo MONTEFORTE AFP

A: “You have to be mindful of a lot of things, but my life hasn’t changed that much. On the training ground in the morning, at home with the family in the afternoon. A lot has changed , I am recognized, there are invitations, but I always go on the same ground, with the same people, I always take the children to school…”

Q: You have already mentioned the decisive help of your mental coach, how has it helped you?

A: “We had built a perfect puzzle – physically and technically I was fine – but a piece was missing. There was this fear of facing races and opponents. I focused too much on others, not enough on myself “The work done was personal work, not just about preparing for the races. I faced things that I didn’t want to hear about.”

Q: She helped you in particular in your personal story with your father, who remained in the United States when your mother returned to Italy just after your birth (he resumed contact with his father, editor’s note)?

A: “There was a blockage. I knew I had a father, but I didn’t want to know anything about it. I had built a wall and she helped me break it down. It’s not so much the talking to each other every day or saying certain things to each other, but the fact that he no longer has this wall, it has been fundamental work.

Q: In Liévin, Thursday, you will find Ronnie Baker, fifth in the 100m in Tokyo. Is this the start of your great challenge to American athletes, Christian Coleman in the lead, absent at the Olympics?

A: “Yes, Thursday will be the first real challenge against the best Americans, and against one of the best on 60 meters. It will be a great fight and a great stimulation for me to try to stay as close as possible on the first part of the race. Coleman? He’ll be the favorite over 60 meters, but I think I can give him a hard time over 100 meters at the outdoor Worlds.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.