Rome (AFP)

The Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who announced that he would not resume competition until 2022 after winning the 100 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, explained his decision on Friday by his desire to be "at the top of the top" l next year.

"It is not an easy decision to make (...) I am the first to want to compete every week, but you come to a certain point where you understand that it does not stop there and that it is only a starting point, ”the sprinter said in an interview on public broadcaster Rai1.

"Next year there are important meetings, including the Worlds and the European Championships (...) Every time I run, I want to raise the bar and so next year I want to arrive on top of the best, confirm (my results), even improve what I managed to accomplish this year ", he added.

"I need to work and take time on certain aspects that I still miss, hence this decision after two Olympic gold medals to restart the machine for the next meetings", he said added.

It was via Instagram that the Italian sprinter, who returned triumphantly to the peninsula on Monday from Japan, announced on Thursday that he was giving up the next stages of the Diamond League in which he was supposed to participate.

To the question of a fan who asked him on his story what was the "next meeting to (him) see again in competition", the Italian sprinter born in Texas answered in a concise manner: "2022".

Jacobs, almost unknown a year ago, won two of the most prestigious titles at the Tokyo Games (100m and 4x100m) and took the European record for the 100m in 9s 80s.

The Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs, winner of the 100m ahead of the American Fred Kerley, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, August 1, 2021 Anne-Christine POUJOULAT AFP / Archives

According to the Italian press, the sprinter had started training again this week in Italy but immediately stopped, the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, citing his entourage, citing "the fatigue accumulated at the Olympics and a knee problem".

The champion also spoke about the doping accusations relayed by the Anglo-Saxon press after his surprise victory and the provisional suspension of the British sprinter Chinjindu "CJ" Ujah, silver medal in the 4x100 meters in Tokyo, due to a suspected violation of doping control rules.

These doping accusations "have not affected me because I know all the sacrifices and the hard knocks that I have taken to get to this moment and I want to enjoy it 100% without giving too much credit to people who do not. neither know me nor my background and do not know what they are talking about, ”he said.

The Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs shows his two gold medals (100m and 4x100m relay) won at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, August 9, 2021 upon his arrival at Fluminico Alberto PIZZOLI airport AFP / Archives

"They had better look at their homes before they go attacking the others without any proof. So the thing makes me smile a little, because a week ago they said so many wrong things about me and now they found it at home. them the first torchbearer proving positive, "he concluded.

© 2021 AFP