Marcell Jacobs, Fred Kerley and Trayvon Bromell (© AFP / Getty Images)
In one of the most eagerly awaited clashes of the Wanda Diamond League circuit, world champion Fred Kerley will take on Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs over 100m at the Meeting International Mohammed VI in Rabat on 28 May and they will meet again just five days later at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea in Florence on 2 June.
Diamond League champion and world bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell is also in both line-ups, setting up two thrilling battles between the three big title-holders in the short sprint.
On social media and in interviews in recent weeks, Kerley and Jacobs have both been talking up their chances in a sprint showdown. The duo have raced twice before, in Monaco and Tokyo in 2021, with Jacobs finishing ahead on both occasions. But Kerley has since improved in the 100m and has started his 2023 campaign with three victories on the international circuit.
Kerley finished fourth in the 200m when he last raced in Rabat in 2017, while Jacobs and Bromell will be making their debuts at the meeting.
At the Golden Gala, Kerley will be seeking another victory following his wins at the meeting in the 100m in 2022 and the 400m in 2018. In Rome last year, the US sprinter won the 100m by a huge margin in 9.92, then went on to set a PB of 9.76 at the US Championships before claiming the world title in Oregon.
Jacobs set a European record of 9.80 to win the Olympic title in Tokyo in 2021, then added another gold to his collection in the 4x100m. He won two more major titles in 2022, taking world indoor 60m gold in a European record of 6.41 and then European 100m gold in Munich.
Bromell, who has an identical 9.76 PB to Kerley, is the 2016 world indoor 60m champion. Last year, after claiming world bronze in Oregon, Bromell went on to win the 100m at the Diamond League Final in Zurich.
Adding further strength to the field in Rabat are Andre De Grasse, Akani Simbine and Yohan Blake, while Samuele Ceccarelli, who beat his Italian compatriot Jacobs to the European indoor 60m title earlier this year, will be in the field in Florence.
Jacobs vs Lyles in Paris
The top-class clashes don't end there, as just one week later the Meeting de Paris on 9 June will host the first ever head-to-head between Jacobs and USA's Noah Lyles.
Olympic 100m champion against two-time world 200m champion. Jacobs has the faster 100m PB of 9.80 compared to Lyles' 9.86, but Lyles has experience of winning at the Stade Charlety, having claimed 200m triumph there after clocking 19.65 in 2019, the year he claimed Diamond Trophies in both the 100m and 200m.
Not only will they each be looking to make a statement by claiming victory, but they could also have an eye on Usain Bolt's meeting record of 9.79.
Looking to challenge them will be Blake, Botswana's Letsile Tebogo and Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala.