Paris Olympics, it's Jacobs' turn: first chance to qualify tomorrow. Races also for Crippa and Battocletti


By John

First 'big Saturday' of 2024 for Italian athletics. Marcell Jacobs in Jacksonville, Florida for the long-awaited seasonal debut in the 100 meters; the long distance runner Mattia Furlani in Suzhou in China for the second stage of the Diamond League; Yeman Crippa in Germany chasing the Italian record over 10 kilometers on the road and Nadia Battocletti in Milan competing in the unusual distance of 1500 meters for her. Three months before the Paris Olympics, four Italian athletics aces will be involved in competitions that will serve above all to test the work done. Jacobs, the reigning Olympic and continental gold medalist who has relied on Rana Reider's training programs since last autumn, will take to the starting blocks for the 100 meters as part of the 'East Coast Relays'. On the track of the Hodges Stadium the Italian sprinter will also have as opponents his teammates and training members within the Tumbleweed Track Club, the American Trayvon Bromell, the Canadian Andre De Grasse and the Japanese Hakim Sani Brown. Jacobs is the European record holder with 9″80, a time set in the 100 meters final of the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Crippa, fresh from a month of high altitude training in Ifrane on the Atlas Mountains, is aiming for the seventh absolute Italian record on the German roads of Herzogenaurach after those of the 3000, 5000 and 10,000 meters on the track, the 5 km on the road, the half marathon and the marathon. Yeman will have to beat the 27'50, the national limit held by Pietro Riva and Yohanes Chiappinelli. At the start are athletes of the caliber of Kenyans Sabastian Sawe and Jacob Krop but also Ethiopian Muktar Edris. In Suzhou, China, at a meeting where Armand Duplantis could aim for his ninth world record in the pole vault by climbing at least one centimeter higher than last Saturday's 6.24, there is anticipation for Mattia Furlani. The Italian, vice world indoor long jump champion, lands among the greats and on the platform he will find two world champions, the Jamaican Tajay Gayle who triumphed in Doha in 2019 and the Chinese Wang Jianan who won in Eugene in 2022. In the 100 new duel between the Americans Christian Coleman and Fred Kerley: Coleman had prevailed last Saturday. For the Italian sprint team, a five-day training course begins tomorrow in Miami aimed at completing the preparation held at the Stadio dei Marmi in view of the World Relay Championships in Nassau which will also be qualification for the Paris Olympics. The Azzurri will fly to the capital of the Bahamas on May 2nd. Jacobs and Filippo Tortu will also join the national team at the weekend.