Marcell Jacobs at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023. GETTY IMAGES

Marcell Jacobs says he is enjoying the "quiet" life in Florida after moving from Italy to the United States ahead of his Olympic 100m title defence in Paris this summer.

Jacobs left long-time coach Paolo Camossi to team up with Rana Reider, whose training group in Florida includes American Trayvon Bromell, Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse and Japanese sprinter Abdul Hakim Sani Brown. "There have been a lot of changes since last year," Jacobs told AFP ahead of this weekend's World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas where he helped reigning Olympic champions Italy qualify for the Paris 2024 men's 4x100m relay.

The 29-year-old ran the second leg in heat one as Italy finished second behind the United States. Both teams made it through to Sunday's final and secured automatic spots in Paris.

Born in El Paso, Texas to an Italian mother and American father, and raised by the former in Italy since childhood, Jacobs stunned the athletics world by winning two gold medals (100m and 4x100m) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In 2022, he became world indoor champion over 60m and European champion over 100m.

He then struggled with a series of muscular problems and was eliminated in the semi-finals at last year's World Athletics Championships in Budapest, although he was part of Italy's sprint relay silver-winning quartet. "There were a lot of injuries, so I decided to change everything," he said. "We're in an Olympic year and I'm an Olympic champion, so I tried to do everything to come back stronger than before."

Jacobs celebrates his 100m gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. GETTY IMAGES
Jacobs celebrates his 100m gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. GETTY IMAGES

Jacobs insists he does not feel any extra burden by going to Paris as the defending 100m champion. "I don't think it's pressure, it's a lot of motivation to go there and win again. I know it's not easy, but I'll do my best to get there and win gold again in the 100m and 4x100m for sure," he said.

"The first month was a bit difficult because during my training in Italy I had an hour or an hour and a half to warm up. Now after 30 minutes you have to go, go, go, go. It's a big difference. But I think I like it. I can see a big difference in my body now. Life there is very quiet. I'm with my family. I do training, home, home, training, nothing else. I'm really happy, the work is really good."

Jacobs opened his season last weekend in Jacksonville where he finished second behind De Grasse with both men timed at 10.11. Bromell was third in 10.14. With an eye on Bermuda, the Italian said, "That was just training. Now I'm here with my team, we're world relay champions and Olympic champions. We're really focused on these races and then I'll start my season."

Olympic qualification is up for grabs in Nassau and World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has hailed the "injected danger" as a boost to the profile of the two-day event at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, which features 893 athletes from 54 countries.

"They're calling it 'Paradise to Paris' and that's a really good slogan. It's an absolutely star-studded field. As far as relays go, it's one for the ages," said Britain's two-time 1500m Olympic champion.