Norway’s 18-year-old superstar Jakob Ingebrigtsen is red hot but where is our flag
For Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1500m world rank 8), the hardest part of his night was not the race – not the eight minutes he spent extending his margin of supremacy over the best distance runners in Europe. No, the 18-year-old’s most difficult task was finding a Norwegian flag.
After he crossed the line a dominant champion in the men’s 3000m, confirming himself as the undisputed doyen of European distance running at 18 years, 163 days, he had to spend several minutes scanning the crowd, beckoning to all Norwegians present for his national flag.
It was something of an oversight by those in Norway’s contingent, given Ingebrigtsen’s 3000m victory was one of the most foregone conclusions of the week. In truth, it could have been draped over his shoulders with a lap to run, the point at which Jakob swept to the lead to overtake older brother Henrik (1500m world rank 27, 5000m world rank 15).
He had made an earlier move with three laps to run, only to surrender it with two laps left, and the siblings poured it on from there with Britain’s Chris O’Hare (1500m world rank 14) giving best chase. But chasing Ingebrigtsen is akin to running for a bus – worth trying, but almost always futile.
He hit the line in splendid isolation, like a man halfway through his Sunday jog, in 7:56.15. “It wasn’t easy, there were a lot of elbows,” said Ingebrigtsen. “But I think the others had respect for us and they handed it to us so we could make it our race.”
The battle for silver was decided by three thousandths of a second, with O’Hare edging Henrik Inebrigtsen, both credited with 7:57.19.
“I just hope that run was good enough to get into Team Ingebrigtsen,” said O’Hare with a laugh, referring to the TV series which follows the family. “I was going to run at the back but then I saw those guys having too much fun up front so I decided to get involved.”
posted Sunday March 3rd