Olympic champion Lamont Jacobs in Kenya for Kip Keino Classis

Thursday May 05 2022
Olympic 100 metres champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs.

Olympic 100 metres champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs poses for a photo upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on May 5, 2022. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG


Olympic 100 metres champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs has landed in Nairobi ahead of Saturday's Kip Keino Classic.

Jacobs, who is also the World Indoor 60m champion, jetted into the country a few hours after legendary Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday night. 

The arrival of Jacobs sets up an enticing 100m battle with African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala and American Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley who touched down early Wednesday morning.

And Jacobs has taken on Omanyala’s challenge gracefully ahead of men's 100m race at the Absa Kip Keino Classic on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Italian said that he is aware that Omanyala, Africa's fastest man, has vowed to beat him.

"I read about his sentiments and I know anything is possible. I like such challenges because they are good for the race," said Jacobs.


Jacobs acknowledged that Omanyala, who has a personal best 9.77 seconds, is a good runner but said he is ready to compete against him in the race that will have several rematches.

"I met him once in 60m at the World Indoor Tour in February but Omanyala prefers the 100m. I look forward to race against him again. I can't wait," said Jacobs on arrival in the country on Wednesday night ahead of the potentially explosive race that will be held at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The race also had Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley from the United States.
It's Jacobs who beat Kerley to gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, clocking 9.80 seconds. Kerley, 26, settled for silver in 9.84.

Omanyala finished fourth in 6.57 seconds at Meeting Hauts-de France Pas-de-Calais in Levine, France on February 17 where Jacobs won 6.50.

"It will be important for me to win this one and I hope to run faster than ever," explained Jacobs, who predicted a fast race.

"I won the World Indoor title with an European Record of 6.41. That forms part of my training ahead of the World Athletics Championships."

Jacobs hastened that it is fantastic and amazing to run in Africa for the first time.

"I can't wait for the amazing stadium atmosphere. Can't wait to compete on that fast track going by last year's performance," said Jacobs.

Last year, American Trayvon Bromell won the 100m race in 9.76 as Omanyala settled second in 9.77.