Marcell Jacobs wins world’s fastest man duel at world indoor championships

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Italian Marcell Jacobs consolidated his claim as the world’s fastest man, following his surprise Olympic 100m gold medal with a world indoor 60m title by three thousandths of a second over American star Christian Coleman.

Jacobs rallied in the final strides to overtake Coleman, the world’s fastest 100m sprinter in the last Olympic cycle who missed the Tokyo Games due to a ban over missed drug tests. Coleman also holds the 60m world record of 6.34 seconds from 2018.

Both men clocked 6.41 seconds in Belgrade on Saturday. Jacobs’ time to the thousandth was 6.407 to Coleman’s 6.410. Another American, Marvin Bracy, took bronze in 6.44.

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“I believe in myself and my potential,” said Jacobs, a 27-year-old El Paso native who had not broken 10 seconds in the 100m before 2021, then won Olympic gold in 9.80. “If I win both championships outdoors [European and worlds], I will make a history.”

Coleman and Jacobs are expected to face off again at the biggest meet of the year, the world outdoor championships, in Eugene, Oregon, in July.

“I thought I had it,” said Coleman, who returned to competition in January after an 18-month ban. “I can feel that I’m getting my rhythm back.”

Also Saturday, Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchikh won the women’s high jump, reportedly after fleeing her hometown after the Russian invasion three weeks ago and needing three days to drive to Belgrade.

“Terrible sounds of explosions, artillery fire and shooting,” she said before worlds, according to European Athletics. “Even before I called my parents, I understood that this was war.”

The U.S. went one-two in the women’s pole vault with 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris (4.80 meters) and 2021 Olympic gold medalist Katie Nageotte (4.75).

Ryan Crouser, the Olympic champion and world-record holder in the shot put, was relegated to silver by Brazilian Darlan Romani.

Olympic decathlon champion Damian Warner won the heptathlon with 6,489 points, ranking him second in history behind 2012 and 2016 Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton.

Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the two-time Olympic 400m champion, earned her first world title, clocking 50.31 to beat Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medalist Femke Bol of the Netherlands by .26.

In the men’s 400m, Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago edged American Trevor Bassitt, 45.00 to 45.05.

U.S. Olympian Bryce Hoppel took bronze in the men’s 800m, which included zero finalists from the Olympics. World champion Donavan Brazier is at world indoors to run the 4x400m on Sunday.

World record holder Gudaf Tsegay led an Ethiopian medals sweep of the women’s 1500m.

World indoors finish Sunday, highlighted by Olympic silver medalist Grant Holloway in the 60m hurdles and gold medalist Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the 1500m.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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