Jacobs' back issue delays Kerley 100m 'challenge'
Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs. (Photo: The Japan Times)

ROME, Italy, (AFP) – 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 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.

On June 2, the pair could face off at the Florence Diamond League meeting before the world championships in August in Budapest.

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