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Romans ran laps around Lamont Marcell Jacobs as he stretched his legs on the track. “Ciao, champion,” said one speed walker. “You make us old guys dream,” said one of the old guys.

Jacobs bobbed his head to the trap music pumping out of a portable speaker and sauntered up to the starting line. Then he took a calming breath, crouched and exploded, running faster than anyone on the track, anyone in Italy — almost anyone on Earth.

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