Olympics-Jacobs sees room for improvement after retaining European title


Athletics - European Athletics Championships - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 8, 2024 Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs celebrates winning the men's 100m final REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) - Olympic sprint champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs said he is aiming to improve his time and technique ahead of the Paris Games after electrifying the home crowd in Rome by retaining the men's 100m title at the European Athletics Championships on Saturday.

The Italian, who claimed two gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (100m and 4x100m relay), had a slow start but showcased his signature strength in the final third of the race to clock a season-best 10.02 and clinch gold.

The 29-year-old has failed to dip under the 10-second mark in nearly two years and endured a series of injury issues since his Tokyo Games triumph in 2021.

Jacobs also split with long-time coach Paolo Camossi in 2023 and is now training under U.S. coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville.

"I thought I could run 9.95. I didn't manage it but the important thing was to win," Jacobs said after the race on Saturday.

"I made a big bet on myself because I came to Rome not in the best shape, but it was one of my goals of the season to win. I am the European Champion again. It is really incredible the people here scream my name every second.

"I'm really happy about that (but) not really happy about the time. But here in this competition what counts is the medals. Now we can work, work, work more to improve the time and the technique for the Olympics of course."

The athletics competition at the Paris Olympics will take place from Aug. 1-11 at the Stade de France.

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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