Athletics: Olympic 100m champion Jacobs marks return with Berlin win

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs celebrates winning the men's 60m final. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (AFP) - Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs marked his long-awaited return to the track with victory in the 60m at the Berlin indoor meet on Friday (Feb 4).

The Italian sprinter won in a time of 6.51sec in his first appearance since stunning the sport at the Tokyo Games in August.

Jacobs, the European champion over 60m, had said on the eve of the event that he had come to Berlin "just to win".

He was as good as his word, seeing off Ivory Coast's Arthur Cisse (6.60sec) and Jimmy Vicaut of France (6.61sec) at the finish.

The 27-year-old Jacobs had not competed since he won double gold in the 100m and 4x100m relay in Japan and prepared for his return in Germany by addressing head-on the suspicions which lingered over his surprise Olympic triumphs.

"I would never do anything as an athlete competing for my country that would bring disrepute on me as a man or on my nation," Jacobs told the Daily Telegraph in an interview last week, when asked directly if he had ever taken banned performance-enhancing substances.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion and pole vault world record holder Armand Duplantis improved on his best performance of the season.

The Swede cleared 6.03m, a centimetre more than he achieved at Karlsruhe last week in his first appearance of the year.

He then tried to set a new world record of 6.19m, hoping to beat his own mark of 6.18m.

He came agonisingly close on his third attempt with the bar wobbling before falling to the ground.

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