Marcell Jacobs

Lamont Marcell Jacobs Jr. (born 26 September 1994) is an Italian track and field sprinter and long jumper. He is the 2020 Olympic 100 metres 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.

Marcell Jacobs
Marcell Jacobs.jpg
Jacobs in 2020
Personal information
Full nameLamont Marcell Jacobs Jr.
National teamItaly (2016–)[1]
Born (1994-09-26) 26 September 1994 (age 26)[1]
El Paso, Texas, United States[1]
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Weight84 kg (185 lb)[1]
Event(s)Long jump
ClubG.S. Fiamme Oro
Coached byPaolo Camossi
Gianni Lombardi[2]
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)


Early lifeEdit

Of American and later acquired Italian citizenship, Jacobs is the son of Viviana Masini, an Italian woman, and Lamont Marcell Jacobs Sr., an African American serviceman.[3][4][5][6][7] 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.[7]

His parents married and relocated to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Three years later, Jacobs was born;[7] 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.[8][9] His parents split when he was six months old.[10]

He started out playing basketball and football, where his football coach, Adriano Bertazzi, took notice of his speed and suggested that Jacobs try sprinting.[2]

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

Personal lifeEdit

Jacobs lives in Rome with his partner, Nicole Daza, and their two children, Anthony (born 2019) and Megan (born 2021).[9][11] Jacobs has another son, Jeremy (born 2013), born from a previous relationship when Jacobs was nineteen.[12]

Although Jacobs was born in the United States, he strictly identifies as being Italian.[13]

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.[14][15]


Long jumpEdit

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.[16]

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.[17][18]

Jacobs did not participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics due to a hamstring injury.[19]


In 2019, Jacobs decided to focus his efforts exclusively on sprinting, citing frequent injuries while long jumping among the reasons for this switch.[20]

In July 2019, Jacobs lowered his 100 metres personal best to 10.03 seconds, making him the third fastest Italian in history.[20]

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.[20]

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.[21] 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 OlympicsEdit

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 an Olympic 100m final.[22]

In the final, Jacobs won the gold medal with a time of 9.80 seconds.[23] 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.[14]

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.[24][25] Jacobs was not favored to win the race, with bookmakers giving him a three percent chance of winning.[26][27]

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.[28][29] Jacobs ran the team's second leg, contributing to its total run time of 37.50 seconds, setting a new Italian record.[30][31]

Due to his outstanding achievements, Jacobs was selected by the Italian Olympic Committee to be Italy's flag bearer during the Olympics closing ceremony.[32]


European recordsEdit

National recordsEdit


100 m[35]
Year Performance Venue Date
2011 11.19   Chiari 20 May
2012 10.68   Campi Bisenzio 19 May
2013 11.19   Chiasso 19 August
2014 10.53   Gavardo 18 May
2016 10.23   Savona 25 May
2017 10.82   Trieste 30 June
2018 10.08   Savona 23 May
2019 10.03   Padova 16 July
2020 10.10   Trieste 01 August
2021 9.80   Tokyo 01 August

International competitionEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Performance Notes
2016 Mediterranean U23 Championships   Tunis 1st Long jump 8.07 m PB
European Championships   Amsterdam 11th Long jump 7.59 m
2017 European Indoor Championships   Belgrade Qual. Long jump 7.70 m
2018 European Championships   Berlin SF 100 m 10.28
2019 European Indoor Championships   Glasgow Qual. Long jump N.M.
IAAF World Relays   Yokohama DNF 4 × 100 m relay no time
European Team Championships   Bydgoszcz 2nd 100 m 10.39
World Championships   Doha SF 100 m 10.20
SF 4 × 100 m relay 38.11 NR
2021 European Indoor Championships   Toruń 1st 60 m 6.47 WL, NR, PB
World Relays   Chorzów 2nd 4×100 m relay 39.21[36]
Olympic Games   Tokyo 1st 100 m 9.80 NR, ER, PB
1st 4×100 m relay 37.50 NR

Other meetingsEdit

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

National competitionsEdit

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

National titlesEdit

Jacobs won seven national championships at individual senior level.[37][38]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Marcell Jacobs Biografia". (in Italian). Italian Athletics Federation. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Third time lucky at European Indoors, Jacobs now turns his attention to outdoor world stage". World Athletics. 6 April 2021.
  3. ^ Marco Imarisio (1 August 2021). "'Un'estate italiana: Tamberi, Jacobs, la Nazionale di Mancini. Lo sport spinge l'Italia a fiducia e resistenza". Corriere Della Sera.
  4. ^ Giulia Zonca (27 September 2019). "I 100 metri visti alla playstation: Tortu e Jacobs pronti al via". La Stampa.
  5. ^ Nancy Montgomery (2 August 2021). "'Who is Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Italy's first fastest man". New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 August 2021.
  6. ^ Kait Hanson (2 August 2021). "Olympic runner says reunion with estranged dad made him 'fastest man in world'". Today.
  7. ^ a b c Lauren McCarthy (1 August 2021). "'World's fastest man' raised by Italian single mother who met his US soldier father at Vicenza". Stars and Stripes.
  8. ^ "Mamma e Garda, le radici di Jacobs l'uomo che l'Italia voleva da anni" (in Italian). 15 May 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Lamont Marcell Jacobs biography" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 August 2017. La mamma, sposata con un texano, è tornata in Italia quando Marcell era ancora bambino.
  10. ^ "Olympic champion Jacobs was determined to find his dad". The Washington Post. 1 August 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2021. ... but his parents separated when he was 6 months old.
  11. ^ Jacobs, l'annuncio che spiazza della compagna Nicole Daza: "Il nostro futuro è negli Stati Uniti". La Stampa. 4 August 2021. Event occurs at 3m08s.
  12. ^ "Atletica, chi è Marcell Jacobs, il nuovo recordman italiano sui 100 metri" (in Italian). 13 May 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021. Padre di tre figli, Anthony e Megan avuti dall'attuale compagna Nicole, e Jeremy da una relazione precedente all'età di 19 anni.
  13. ^ Alberto Dolfin (14 May 2021). "Atletica:ecco chi è Lamont Marcell Jacobs, il recordman azzurro sui 100 metri" (in Italian). La Stampa.
  14. ^ a b "Olympics-Athletics-Jacobs says reconnecting with father pushed him to 100m gold". Reuters. 2 August 2021.
  15. ^ Rebecca Falconer (2 August 2021). "Olympic sprint champ Jacobs says reconnecting with U.S. father "gave me the desire to win"".
  16. ^ "SENIOR INDOOR 2017 - TRIPLE JUMP MEN". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Atletica, Jacobs vola: 8.48 ventoso" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Jacobs, ancora un lampo: 10.12 a Campi Bisenzio!" (in Italian). Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Infortunio per Marcell Jacobs" (in Italian). Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  20. ^ a b c "Third time lucky at European Indoors, Jacobs now turns his attention to outdoor world stage". World Athletics. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Athletics - Final Results". 1 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  22. ^ "100m, Jacobs centra la prima storica finale per l'Italia". 1 August 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Tokyo Olympics: Lamont Marcell Jacobs claims shock 100m gold". BBC Sport. 1 August 2021. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Athletics-Italian Jacobs wins men's 100m gold at Tokyo Olympics". Reuters. 1 August 2021. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  25. ^ "100 Metres - men - senior -outdoor". World Athletics. 3 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  26. ^ Adam Kilgore (1 August 2021). "'In 9.80 seconds, a broad-shouldered, baldheaded Italian man born in Texas shocked the world". Washington Post.
  27. ^ Andy Bull (1 August 2021). "Marcell Jacobs has inspiring story to share in sprinting's post-Bolt era". The Guardian.
  28. ^ Mitch Phillips (6 August 2021). "Athletics-Relay golds cap amazing week for Italy, Jamaica". Reuters.
  29. ^ Italy win first ever Olympic men's 4x100 metres relay title. France 24. 4 August 2021. Event occurs at 2m16s.
  30. ^ Gerald Imray (6 August 2021). "'Four Ferraris': Italy race to shock 4x100 gold at Olympics". Associated Press.
  31. ^ "Senior Outdoor 4x100 Metres Relay Men". World Athletics. 6 August 2021.
  32. ^ "Olympics-Athletics: Jacobs named Italy flag bearer for closing ceremony". Reuters. 5 August 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  33. ^ "JACOBS ORO nei 60, con un gran 6"47" (in Italian). 6 March 2021. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Athletics - Final Results - Men's 4 x 100m Relay". IOC. Retrieved 6 August 2021. - Current holder
  35. ^ "Marcell Jacobs - Progression". Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  36. ^ "Results 4 x 100 Metres Relay Men - Final" (PDF). 2 May 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  37. ^ "CAMPIONATI "ASSOLUTI" – UOMINI TUTTI I CAMPIONI – 1906-2016" (PDF). Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  38. ^ "Dal Molin record italiano 13.27, Jacobs 10.01!" (in Italian). 26 June 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2021.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Francis Obikwelu
  Jimmy Vicaut
Men's 100 metres European record holder
1 August 2021 – present
Succeeded by