Posted on: 26 11 2022.

The main contender for two gold medals in the Belgrade Arena — Belgrade Indoor Meeting is Usain Bolt’s successor.

Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, a perennial epicentre and synonymous with world athletics, has retired, leaving a gaping hole.

Although many sports’ and athletics’ experts predicted that it would be a long time before someone emerged in the most appealing athletic men’s discipline, the 100 meters for men, who would shake the world in the same way that the famous Jamaican did and maintain the level that he traced, all of these predictions were completely discredited by the “flying Italian” Lamont Marcel Jacobs.

The attractive athlete in blue took to the track in Tokyo, blowing away the competition and taking the world by storm with a chiselled body covered in tattoos. The fresh wave of the “Queen of Sports”, which has stunned the world, is coming to Belgrade and will be presented to the Serbian audience. We couldn’t have imagined watching the fastest man on the planet compete in our capital until yesterday, and now it’s a reality, even a privilege, because the “flying Italian” will chase two gold medals in just 11 days in the Belgrade Arena.

The golden Italian will make his first appearance in Serbian sports beauty on March 7, when he will be one of the main stars of the “Belgrade Indoor Meeting”, an athletic competition that will serve as a warm-up for the most important event that follows, the 2022 World Indoor Athletics Championships, which will be held in the Arena from March 18 to 20.

Marcel Jacobs, a 27-year-old sprinter who shines and lights up athletic tracks throughout the Meridian, has a sports, professional, and life fable that confirms his one-of-a-kindness. He is neither an heir nor a carbon copy of previous champions in his discipline; he is one-of-a-kind, working miracles and writing a new sports story that we are witnesses to. He used to play basketball and football before deciding to pursue a career in athletics (first the long jump, then the sprint). He was born in the United States, but as a baby, he moved to Italy with his mother and became a part of the country’s sporting history. In addition to the gold medals and records he has set, he is the father of three children.

What are your hopes for WIC 22?

“I’m looking forward to the World Athletics Championships in Belgrade. I know the competition will be fierce, and that gives me a lot of motivation. What are my expectations? I believe there is no such thing as a limit.”

Jacobs, the European indoor 60m champion who abandoned the long jump in 2018 to focus on sprinting, produced one of the biggest surprises in Tokyo by winning the 100m in 9.80 seconds, breaking the European record and becoming the first Italian in history to do so. He only broke the 10-second barrier for the first time in May 2021, and he already won two Olympic gold medals in August. Lamont Marcel won his country’s second gold medal in Japan in the 4×100 meter relay.

“Dreams do come true.”

Marcel arrives in Serbia energized and with two new gold medals from meetings in Berlin and Lodz, Poland in 2022. Have you ever been to Belgrade? If so, are you looking forward to returning to Belgrade? „I was in Belgrade in 2017, and things did not go well. I didn’t go as well as I hoped. But that was when I was competing in the long jump, and now is now”, Jacobs expresses his delight at returning.

Athletics is the beauty of sports, and its authentic representative is the world’s fastest man, Marcel. And, while it is true that the most beautiful and attractive athletes, on whom the eyes of the entire world remain, and for whom a card is always sought after due to their captivating appearance, are not also the rulers of the planet in their disciplines, Jacobs is an example that anything is possible. When he stepped onto the big stage, the Italian brought everything together and made the big lights of the athletic fields focus on him.

Do you expect that the Belgrade Arena will be full, given the situation with Covid-19 over the last two years? “The last two years have been extremely struggling for everyone. Many lives have been lost, and many people in my home region of Lombardy have lost loved ones. Running (short distances-sprint) is not like long jump or high jump, where you can hear fans cheering and push you further. You don’t hear anything when you’re running. Until you stop. A full arena is essential for sports, and I sincerely hope that once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, we can all get back to normal”.

“That really good feeling — after the race, when the tension starts to fade and you feel the crowd all around you — I’m looking forward to the return of such moments”, an extraordinary athlete who the pride of Italy, for whom the entire planet sighs, world athletic superstar Jacobs has a new goal: to break Bolt’s record. Athletic records are long-lasting; decades pass before someone appears to push the boundaries. Who knows, maybe in 2022 we’ll see new records set in Belgrade and the Arena!