Marcell Jacobs wins the 100m in Savona (© AFP / Getty Images)
The blue track of Savona’s Fontanassa Sports Centre was the venue for Marcell Jacobs’ first 100m since his Olympic triumph in Tokyo last year. The Italian sprint star made a victorious return at the World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meeting on Wednesday (18), winning the final in 10.04 (0.4m/s) after a wind-assisted 9.99 (2.3m/s) in the heats.
It was just shy of the 9.95 he ran on the same track last year when making his season debut, but was a solid return to action after an intestinal problem forced him to withdraw from the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi earlier this year.
“I struggled a bit,” said Jacobs, whose last race was his world indoor 60m victory in Belgrade in March. “I wanted to run faster in the final than I did in the heat. I thought that I could run better technically, especially in the second half of the race. I need some more work in training, but it’s just my first outdoor race of the season.
“I have time to reach my best form for the World Championships,” added Jacobs, who had originally been slated to contest the 200m in Savona. “But my next race, at the Prefontaine Classic, could be more difficult than at the World Championships, as I’ll face seven US sprinters.”
Arthur Cisse from Ivory Coast finished second in 10.10, beating former European record-holder Jimmy Vicaut (10.12). Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon took fourth place in 10.16 ahead of Italy’s Chituru Ali, who improved his PB to 10.18.
Olympic 400m silver medallist Marileidy Paulino from Dominican Republic stepped down in distance to win the women’s 200m in a national record of 22.59 (2.0m/s). Paulino, who beat Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo over 400m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha last Friday, missed Dina Asher-Smith’s meeting record by 0.03.
Paulino’s compatriot Fiordaliza Cofil achieved another victory for Dominican Republic by winning the 400m in 51.36.
Britain’s Olympic 4x100m bronze medallist Darryl Neita was fastest in the women’s 100m heats with 11.12, but she skipped the final to focus on the 200m, where she finished to Paulino in an equal PB of 22.81. Italy’s European U23 champion Dalia Khaddari was third in 22.83.
Two-time Italian 100m champion Zaynab Dosso won the women’s 100m final in 11.21 after improving her PB to 11.19 in the heats, missing Manuela Levorato’s national record by 0.05.
“I am not completely happy with my performance,” said Dosso. “It was a good day at the office, but it is not the right time of the year for a super-fast time. It’s the start of the season. My goal is to come close to breaking the 11 seconds barrier and reach my best form for the World Championships in Eugene and the European Championships in Munich.”
World indoor finalist Nick Ponzio won the men’s shot put with 21.12m. Ponzio competed for the third time in just five days after throwing 20.53m in Ponce and 21.73m in Rovereto last Sunday. Olympic fifth-place finisher Zane Weir made it an Italian 1-2 with a best throw of 21.05m.
Dominica’s Thea Lafond, who finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, continued her good form by winning the women’s triple jump with 14.53m. Ana Lucia Jose Tima from Dominican Republic finished runner-up with 14.46m.
Elsewhere, Brazil’s Rafael Pereira won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.36, missing the meeting record by 0.06, and double World University Games champion Ayomide Folorunso won the women’s 400m hurdles in a meeting record of 55.29.
Diego Sampaolo for World Athletics