Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs will sit out this weekend's highly-anticipated sprint showdown against Fred Kerley in Morocco due to a back nerve problem, the Italian said on Thursday.
Jacobs, who won Olympic gold in Tokyo, was scheduled to go up against American Kerley in Rabat on Sunday after the world champion challenged the Italian publically.
"I've been forced to miss the 100m debut and the first meeting of this year with Kerley in Rabat, which I cared about very much, due to a slight lumbar-sacral block that I plan to resolve as soon as possible," Jacobs said in a statement released by the Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL).
"Technically I feel fit and ready to have a great season outdoors. The challenge is only put on hold," the Texan-born 28-year-old added.
I am forced to skip the debut 100 meters and the first face off with Kerley in Rabat, which I was really looking forward to, due to a lombo sacral nerve block that I’m working on resolving in the short term. It’s the result of a misstep and not an injury, which does however keep…— Marcell Jacobs (@crazylongjumper) May 25, 2023
On 2 June, the pair could face off at the Florence Diamond League meeting before the world championships in August in Budapest.