Reactions as Marcell Jacobs withdraws from Rabat race with Kerley - Is he truly a duckling?

Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs

Reactions as Marcell Jacobs withdraws from Rabat race with Kerley - Is he truly a duckling?

Funmilayo Fameso 07:16 - 26.05.2023

Marcell Jacobs pulling out of the Rabat Diamond League has caused several reactions on line, with many now believing he's actually dodging a race with Fred Kerley.

Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs withdrew from the much-anticipated race with Fred Kerley and other world's top sprinters, which is to take place on Sunday, May 28 at the Rabat Diamond League.

Jacobs 'ducks' his fifth race with Kerley after withdrawal from Rabat Diamond League
Marcell Jacobs

The race is to feature top names in Kerley, Africa's fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala, world bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell, former Commonwealth champion Akani Simine, world junior champion Letsile Tebogo, former world medallists Yohan Blake and Andre de Grasse, and then Jacobs.

Jacobs stirs online criticisms after withdrawal from Rabat Diamond League
The stacked start list for the Rabat Diamond League

News in the media reported that Jacobs withdrew from the race due to a slight lumbosacral problem, but Jacobs has come out to debunk the cause of not racing in Rabat.

"I am forced to skip the debut 100 meters and the first face off with Kerley in Rabat, which I was really looking forward to, due to a lombo sacral nerve block that I’m working on resolving in the short term. It’s the result of a misstep and not an injury, which does however keep me from competing in Marocco. I’m in strong physical shape technical, and ready for a great outdoor season. The challenge is only postponed," wrote Jacobs in a Twitter post.

Following this, various reactions from athletes, pundits, enthusiasts, and media outlets have flooded the internet, with many believing Kerley's jab of calling Jacobs a 'duckling' may be right after all as one who chickens out of major races and matchups.

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Doha 2019 world silver medallist Jasmine Todd tweeted "Marcell gotta be the Dodgeball King."

His main rival Kerley responded with three laughing emojis, as well as renowned sub-10 African king Akani Simbine with the same laughing emoji but will later delete it.

Withdrawing from Rabat is the fifth time Jacobs has pulled out of an intended matchup with Kerley. They are the 2022 Kip Keino Classic (had intestinal problems), 2022 Pre Classic (muscle injury), 2022 Rome Diamond League (recovering from muscle injury), 2022 World Championships (not to compromise the rest of the season), and now this Rabat Diamond League.

Online reactions as Marcell Jacobs withdraws from Rabat Diamond League
More online reactions of Marcell Jacobs withdrawal

Many now believe Jacobs is dodging to face the big guns on purpose, while in his defense others are saying he may be truly injured. Besides, it's better to race when it matters most and not for fans or media acknowledgment.

With Jacobs next race at home in Florence, Italy to face Kerley on June 2nd, it is left to be seen if the Italian will succumb to the pressure of racing to the appreciation of his home crowd or he will pull out again.

Jacobs and Kerley last raced at the delayed Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and the former came out victorious with an European Record of 9.80s.