Jakob Ingebrigtsen shattered the European indoor 1500m record on his season’s debut at the Meeting Lievin on Tuesday (9) evening and dispatched a world class line-up by more than five seconds in the process.
The Norwegian has been training at high altitude in Sierra Nevada in Spain this winter and the 20-year-old demonstrated his superb early season shape by stopping the clock in 3:31.80 to break the long-standing European indoor record by more than one second.
Ingebrigtsen made his intentions known by positioning himself just behind the pacemaker in the early stages before cutting loose in the last three laps in pursuit of a fast time.
Ingebrigtsen was operating at a pace very few athletes in history have matched for this distance indoors but the European 1500m and 5000m champion didn’t look unduly strained by his efforts, maintaining his relaxed and languid stride all the way to the finish-line.
“I always want to run fast. It was my first race and it’s indoors. You never know. I have been training really well but today was really easy. That’s just an awesome feeling,” Ingebrigtsen told the stadium announcer after the race.
On a track which is renowned for producing fast times in the middle distances, Ingebrigtsen took full advantage. His time of 3:31.80 shattered the previous European indoor record of 3:33.32 which was held by Spain’s Andres Diaz to go alongside his European outdoor records at 1500m and 2000m.
He also moves up to fifth on the world indoor all-time list behind Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera (3:31.04), Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj (3:31.08) and fellow Ethiopians Yomif Kejelcha (3:31.58) and Haile Gebrselassie (3:31.76). And for posterity, Ingebrigtsen also eclipsed El Guerrouj’s meeting record of 3:32.01.
Marcin Lewandowski from Poland, who vanquished Ingebrigtsen at the 2019 European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, was a distant second in 3:36.83 with Spaniards Mohamed Katir and Ignacio Fontes third and fourth respectively, both in 3:36.89.
Elliot Giles dispatched another world class field in the men’s 800m. The Brit won in Karlsruhe last month in 1:45.50 and he chipped away at his season’s best by 0.01, winning in Lievin last night in 1:45.49 off a hot pace with the pacemaker passing through 400m in under 50 seconds.
While the likes of Pierre Ambroise-Bosse who tracked the pacemaker with real intention faded to sixth in 1:47.81, Giles held on well on the last lap to win by more than one second from Kenya’s Cornelius Tuwei in 1:46.88.
Jemma Reekie provided the first half of a British double in the 800m, winning on this track for the second year in succession in 2:00.64 from Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu in 2:00.86. World leader Keely Hodgkinson was fourth in 2:01.71.
Holly Bradshaw continued the theme of British success in Lievin by continuing her unbeaten beginning to the season with a 4.73m clearance ahead of Olympic and European champion Ekaterini Stefanidi who improved to a season’s best of 4.63m to finish second.
World record-holder Armand Duplantis also extended his unbeaten streak in the men’s pole vault but the Swede retired from the competition after clearing 5.86m due to a tight hamstring. His first-time clearance sufficed for victory over Chris Nilsen from the United States on countback.
Portugal’s Auriol Dongmo continued her excellent start to the season with another victory and 19 metre-plus clearance in the shot put with 19.18m.
After clocking 6.54 in the heat, Italy's Marcell Lamont Jacobs matched that time in the 60m final for victory ahead of US veteran Mike Rodgers in 6.60. And in the closest race of the evening, and quite possibly this season, European indoor champion Nadine Visser from the Netherlands edged out Finland's Nooralotta Neziri and world leader Christina Clemons from the United States in the 60m hurdles final.
All three athletes were credited with the same time of 7.91 with Visser given the nod on the photo finish.