Athletics-Jacobs pulls out of Diamond League showdown with Kerly

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Men's 100m - Final - OLS - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - August 1, 2021. Gold medalist Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy celebrates with silver medalist Fred Kerley of the United States. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Olympic gold medallist Lamont Jacobs said he has been forced to "postpone" his 100 metres showdown with world champion Fred Kerley at the Diamond League meet in Rabat this weekend due to a back issue.

The Italian was set to make his first appearance in an outdoor event this year after a "winter of intense preparation" having withdrawn from last year's World Championships before the semi-finals due to a thigh injury.

"I am forced to skip the debut 100 meters and the first face off with Kerley in Rabat, which I was really looking forward to, due to a lumbo sacral nerve block that I'm working on resolving in the short term," Jacobs said in a statement on Thursday.

"It's the result of a misstep and not an injury, which does, however, keep me from competing in Morocco."

The 28-year-old said he was still in strong physical shape and ready for a great outdoor season.

"The challenge is only postponed," he added.

American Kerley began his Diamond League campaign by winning the 200 metres in Doha earlier this month.

The next meet is the Golden Gala on June 2 in Florence, Italy, a meet Jacobs had previously said he would take part in.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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