born in Texas, but does not speak English. The Mennea myth, the disagreements with the father, the 3 children-

born in Texas, but does not speak English. The Mennea myth, the disagreements with the father, the 3 children-
born in Texas, but does not speak English. The Mennea myth, the disagreements with the father, the 3 children-
from Gaia Piccardi, sent to Tokyo

The portrait of the fastest man in Italy who grew up in Desenzano del Garda. And his secret revealed by mother Viviana. At 12.31 the semifinal of the 100, then the final at 14.50

Shoes in hand, electric beard, the muscles still full of the memory of a hundred meters at the Olympics devoured by retouching his own Italian record (from 9 “95 to 9” 94), a penny that in the sprint is worth all the gold in the world. How did you run, Marcell? “Mmmm … pretty good”. The new Jacobs is never satisfied, he has no boundaries, in front of only a straight line on which to unload the talent gift of dad Lamont, former US military from Texas, a former soldier of the US Army at the Vicenza base, and mother Viviana, who the day after the feat in battery at the Tokyo Games reveals her son’s secret plan: «Marcell’s goal is to go below 9” 90 ». It would be enormous, an absolute first for a blue sprinter, Pietro Mennea is the ancestor and Jacobs the worthy heir (“Even if I have never met him, I have always admired his hunger, his training and the desire to take Italy to the top with the work ethic” explains Marcell), already hitting the Olympic final – the first Italian of always in the 100 – would write new pages of our athletics, let alone hit a monstrous time trial like the one predicted by mum.

The fire of the sprinter

Marcell is not one of pindaric flights: “I don’t reveal the time I have in mind – he told us Saturday night in the belly of the Olympic stadium -, otherwise, with that in mind, I’ll limit myself”. The change of the El Paso man (he was born in Texas 26 years ago), raised in Desenzano del Garda since he was a year and a half (“At 18 months I was in Italy, my children were born here, I feel Italian in every cell of my body, so much so that I’m in trouble with the English! »), this season it was clear. Jacobs was the powerful and talented sprinter who could never unload all the horses on the tartan, he lost direct comparisons with Filippo Tortu(also in the semifinals here in Tokyo), he always had a good excuse to cling to: the pain, the muscular resentment, the unfavorable astral conjuncture. When last March he presented himself at the European Championships in Tortun, Poland, to take the indoor gold in the 100 in 6 “47 (best world performance and new Italian record), it was understood that the fire smoldered under old Jacobs’s ashes. A different sprinter, more aware and mature, finally able to channel emotion into the right channels, transforming it into positive energy and fuel for the engine.

The father, the quarrels and reconciliation

From there, Marcell never stopped: a first Italian record (blowing it in Tortu) in 9 “95 on May 13 in Savona, retouched in 9” 94 in Tokyo night, the comparison he won with the world in Monte Carlo, in Diamond League, where immediately before the Olympics the blue finished third behind Baker and Simbine, leaving behind that Bromell who dreams of becoming Bolt’s heir tonight. Congratulations. The story of Marcell Jacobs, a difficult relationship with his father until a healing reconciliation that pacified the man and – not surprisingly – freed the athlete (“It’s not all resolved yet, but at least now we talk to each other: the Google translator gives me a hand with English … »), is told by the tattoos he has on his body. The Rose of the winds, the dates of birth of his children (has three), an inscription praising friendship, a tiger that represents it well. He had started as a long-distance player, with the help of a solid team (coach Paolo Camossi but also mental coach Nicoletta Romanazzi, a key figure in the transformation of the frog into a prince) he has evolved into a wonderful sprinter who today will try to do what no blue athlete in the history of Olympia has ever succeeded. Run fast. Indeed, very fast. Most of all.

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August 1, 2021 (change August 1, 2021 | 04:36)


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