Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Italy’s Olympic 100m champion, has challenged Usain Bolt to a charity team sprinting competition after the retired Jamaican said he could have won the blue riband race in Tokyo.
In an interview last week, Bolt told AFP that it was frustrating to watch the postponed 2020 Olympics from his home in Jamaica as his male countrymen flopped and Jacobs, a relative unknown prior to the Olympics, claimed a shock victory.
Despite having hung up his spikes in 2017, the 35-year-old Jamaican, who holds the world record over 100m with a best of 9.58 seconds set in 2009, said Jacobs’ winning time of 9.80sec in Tokyo was still within his reach.
Jacobs, who hasn’t competed since winning the coveted sprint gold, took to social media on Monday to challenge Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist, and 11-time world champion.
“You are my hero, so thank you for the compliment!” Jacobs, who was born in the United States to an American father but raised in Italy by his Italian mother, explained.
“But you also stated that you’re confident you’ll win, so I’m up for the challenge!”
“How about kicking things off with a charity capture the flag?” I’ll bring my team, and you can bring yours!” Capture the flag, or “rubabandiera” as it is known in Italy, is a schoolyard game in which two teams race to capture the other team’s flag, which is located at the team’s “base,” and safely returns it to their own base.