ISTANBUL (AFP) – Olympic 100 metre (m) champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs suffered a surprise defeat to his unheralded Italian teammate Samuele Ceccarelli in the 60m at the European Indoor Championships on Saturday.
Jacobs, who appeared to have suffered an injury in winning his semi-final in Istanbul, was slower out of his blocks in the final than the fast-starting Ceccarelli who won in 6.48 seconds to Jacobs’ 6.50 for second.
Henrik Larsson of Sweden took the bronze medal in 6.53 while one of the pre-race favourites, British sprinter Reece Prescod, made a disastrous start and finished last.
Ceccarelli, 23, an indoor specialist who does not feature among Europe’s best in the 100m outdoors, showed that his victory over Jacobs in the Italian indoor championships had been no fluke.
The new European champion, whose grandfather Gastone Giacinti was a goalkeeper for then-Serie A club Foggia in the 1970s, said he had been as shocked as anyone by his sudden breakthrough this winter.
“It was absolutely mental. I didn’t expect that. It’s been three years that I didn’t have the possibility to run a complete season because of injuries,” he said.