Still only 19, the incredible double European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway set his second European record of the season in the 1500m with 3:28.68 in the Monaco Diamond League on Friday (14) evening.
After breaking the European 2000m record with 4:50.01 at the Impossible Games in Oslo where he had the advantage of being paced by his brothers, Ingebrigtsen was racing against not only his older brother Filip but also the reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya who was decisively beaten by the Ingebrigtsens in the virtual head-to-head clash between Oslo and Nairobi.
Aided by his training partners who were acting as his pacemakers, Cheruiyot blazed through the early stages in an unfathomably fast pace on his unofficial season’s debut. These exertions appeared to be catching up on the world champion as the pack closed up on Cheruiyot at the bell with Ingebrigtsen looming into view and Great Britain’s Jake Wightman also rounding into contention.
Ingebrigtsen was in position to strike off the final bend but the forward-leaning Cheruiyot kicked away again, holding the Norwegian off to win in a world leading 3:28.45 after an overly exuberant first 400 metres of 52.59. In contrast Ingebrigtsen ran a much more steady paced race and was rewarded with a phenomenally fast time of 3:28.68.
Ingebrigtsen’s time eclipsed Mo Farah’s European record of 3:28.81 which was set in the same stadium seven years ago and the teenager moves to eighth on the world all-time list which is still headed by Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26.00.
“I felt like I kept the same pace...going from 3:30 to 3:28 it's double the achievement. It's crazy,” said Ingebrigtsen whose previous lifetime best stood at 3:30.16.
Ingebrigtsen was gearing up for not only his Olympic debut in Tokyo as well as the now-cancelled European Championships in Paris where more continental honours must have surely beckoned. Despite the decimation of the summer calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic, motivation has by no means been lacking for the ebullient and popular Norwegian.
“This year I have been doing every session, I never skipped a single one because I was very motivated after Doha. That's why I can run this fast. It's unbelievable to run this fast in one race. It's one shot, one chance,” he said.
The Stade Louis II Stadium is the foremost venue for middle distance runners searching for fast times. Behind Ingebrigtsen, Wightman moved to fourth on the European all-time list - ahead of both Sebastian Coe (3:29.77) and Steve Cram (3:29.67) among others - with a marvellous lifetime best of 3:29.47.
Filip Ingebrigtsen, who had to concede the family record of 3:30.01 to Jakob tonight, almost matched his lifetime best with 3:30.35 in fourth. Reigning European indoor champion Marcin Lewandowski from Poland was seventh in 3:33.99.
Warholm almost breaks 47 second-barrier in the 400m hurdles
Karsten Warholm was in an unusually coy mood at the pre-event press conference in Monaco but the Norwegian produced one of the fastest times in history in his first 400m hurdles race since retaining his world title in Doha last autumn.
Warholm powered to a massive world lead of 47.10 and the manner of his victory was impressive from every angle. The 24-year-old only led by a few strides from Turkey’s Yasmani Copello at the top of the home straight but Warholm eked out a massive winning margin of nearly two seconds on his predecessor as European champion over the last two barriers.
It might have been an optical illusion but Warholm seemed to get faster as he charged the ninth and tenth hurdles in superhuman fashion, maintaining a 13-stride pattern between all ten barriers for the first time in his career. The reward was the joint eighth fastest time in history of 47.10, a time that no other European except for Warholm himself has ever surpassed.
“It's great seeing some audience, hearing the sound of the audience, and having some competitors by my side felt great,” said Warholm who began his outdoor campaign by breaking the world 300m hurdles best in an empty Bislett Stadium on 11 June.
“I did 13 strides all the way but it's not really about the strides, it's about how to keep the pace going and I felt like I did this so I'm very happy about how I completed the race today and I felt it was a great start.”
Elsewhere in Monaco…
While reigning world champion Sam Kendricks from the United States was a non-starter after his poles didn’t arrive in time, Armand Duplantis’ coach and mother Helena had to drive more than 24 hours between Uppsala and Monaco with his poles after searching in vain for an airline to transport them in time for the meeting
The world record-holder was on the cusp of making a premature exit from the competition but after clearing 5.70m on his third attempt, normal service was resumed. Duplantis cleared 5.80m on his first attempt to seal the victory before clearing a world outdoor lead of 6.00m on his third attempt.
“Physically I feel good, but the rhythm is just not exactly where I want it to be but I've definitely got some good feelings, especially that six-metre jump, that was nice. It was a nice jump,” said Duplantis who concluded his competition with three attempts at a world outdoor record of 6.15m.
The Duplantis family will be hurrying back to Uppsala today with his poles in tow as Duplantis will be in action at the Swedish Championships tomorrow afternoon.
In the first track event of the evening, Spain's Orlando Ortega won a competitive 110m hurdles in a world lead of 13.11 ahead of Andrew Pozzi. The Brit was defeated for the first time indoors or outdoors in 2020 but Pozzi still matched his lifetime best of 13.14 with France's Wilhem Belocian making it a European clean sweep in third in 13.18, just ahead of reigning world champion Grant Holloway from the United States in 13.19.