Italian athlete Marcell Jacobs greets fans after winning the 100m race at Sprint Festival. GETTY IMAGES

Marcell Jacobs won his first 100 metres race in Europe this year in the build-up to his Olympic title defence in Paris. Italian Jacobs, who stunned the athletics world with two golds in the Tokyo 2020 Games, clocked a time of 10.07 seconds to win his race at the 'Sprint Festival' in Rome, Agence France-Presse reported Saturday. 

The 29-year-old finished 0.04 seconds ahead of Chituru Ali in a race against five of his countrymen at the low-key event, starting sluggishly before eventually surging through to win.

"The race was OK, I'm having these errors at the start which are making me slower than I know I can be," said Jacobs to Sky. "If I'd managed to get my start going as I had during the warm-up it would have been a different race because the start is the basis from which you can reach your top speed. I was missing that, but I'm very happy with the second part of the race."

Saturday's win kicked off a run of competitions for Jacobs, who said he was suffering from hay fever, after returning to Italy from his new base in Florida, where he trains with coach Rana Reider

Next Jacobs will compete in Ostrava Golden Spike and the Oslo Diamond League, ahead of defending his European 100m title in Rome next month and then his 100m and 4x100m relay Olympic crowns in Paris.