Athletics-Italy's Jacobs runs best time since Tokyo Games victory

Athletics - European Athletics Championships - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 12, 2024 Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs celebrates winning the men's 4 x 100m relay final REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/ File Photo

(Reuters) - Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs ramped up his preparations for the Paris Games by breaching the 10-seconds mark twice on Tuesday to win gold at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.

The Italian, who clocked 9.80 in the Tokyo final and also won 4x100m relay gold, finished top of his heat in Turku with a time of 9.99s before claiming victory in the final in 9.92s.

Prior to Tuesday, the 29-year-old had dipped under 10 seconds just once since his Tokyo Games triumph in 2021. His time in Tuesday's final was the third-fastest of his career.

"Before today I was a bit worried that I hadn't run under 10 seconds yet (this season), but it's part of the game and now I have done it twice," Jacobs said.

"In the heats I had a really good start, the last part was average. In the final it was the other way around, so now we need to put the pieces together."

The season's leading time is 9.79s, set by Ferdinand Omanyala on Saturday at Kenya's Olympic trials.

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

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

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