Jakob Ingebrigtsen bright spot for Norway

World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen holds up the Norwegian flag after the 5000m final at the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Business and Sports Editor
The Norwegian American

After calling his performance earlier in the week in his specialty, the 1,500 meters, embarrassing, Jakob Ingebrigtsen wanted a boring 5,000-meters race on July 24, the last day of the World Athletics Championships that began July 15 at the prestigious Eugene, Ore., facility. The 21-year-old has been running on the big stages since he was 16 so he knows how to bounce back.

With about 900 meters and four laps to go, Ingebrigtsen made his move and then dusted the field in the final 150 meters, winning in 13:09.24. At the 4,100-meter mark his split was 11:01.41.1 so he ran the rest of the race in 2:08.86 and the final 100 meters in 13.52. Kenya’s Jacob Krop, who edged Ingebrigtsen in the qualifying heat, ran the final 100 in 13.68 and recorded a final time of 13:09.98. Oscar Chelimo of Uganda took the bronze in 13:10.20.

At a certain point of the race, Ingebrigtsen opted for a quick water break, unusual for a 5,000-meter race. “I felt during the experiment that it was quite dry,” he said to NTB. “When the speed isn’t that high, you don’t necessarily have to lose so much fetching water. It worked out fine.”

Ingebrigtsen embraces his wife after getting the gold medal.

When he runs he wants to make a statement.

“I respect my competition a lot, but I like to win in a way where there is no doubt about which way it happened,” Ingebrigtsen told the Norwegian print media. “They should have been [afraid of me]. I felt the attempt was quite good, especially when I started the race today. Then I felt good. It is a bit unusual for 5,000 meters to be that way. You run fast and so far, and it feels heavier. That is the problem with my mentality. I always want to win. I had hoped to win a boring race today, so that there was no doubt who was best.”

Krop edged Ingebrigtsen in their qualifying heat 13:13.30 to 13:13.92 on July 21.

It was Ingebrigtsen’s first world championship gold but comes on the heels of his Olympic gold in the 1,500 meters last year. “Basically, I want to do well in the 1,500 meters,” he said. “It is difficult to rank (Olympic vs. World Championship medals). I ran a good race and won the WC. I am the world’s best runner. Those were both two big moments.”

Though Ingebrigtsen earned silver in the 1,500-meter final, he was third in his heat (3:35.12); and semifinal (3:37.02 ). He improved his time to a season best 3:29.47, but Great Britain’s Jake Wightman ran a world record of 3:29.23, The bronze went to Mohamed Katir (Spain), who clocked 3:29.90.

That was the good news for Norway. Karsten Warholm, the world’s best 400-meter hurdler the last few years, has been hobbled by a thigh injury, which opened the door for Brazil’s Alison dos Santos to take center stage this season. Warholm managed to win his qualifying heat (49.34) and semifinal (48.0), then fell to seventh in the final (48.42). American hurdler Rai Benjamin ran 49.06 in his heat. Meanwhile, dos Santos set a course record, 46.29, while Benjamin clocked a season best 46.89 and teammate Trevor Bassitt took bronze with a personal best 47.39 in the final.

Eivind Henriksen admires his bronze medal after the shot put.

Hammer throw: Eivind Henriksen took bronze in men’s hammer throw, with a season best 80.87 meter throw. Poles Pawel Fajdek (world record 81.98 meters) and Wojciech Nowicki (81.09 meters) were first and second.

Decathlon: Sander Skotheim won his heat of the 100m with a personal best 10.88; 4th in long jump (7.55m); 9th in Group B shot put (13.69m); 1st in high jump with personal and competition best 2.17m; 8th in Heat 2,400m (49.80); 7th/last in Heat 1 in 110m hurdles (15.05); 8th in Group A discus (42.89m); 6th in Group B pole vault (4.70m); 7th in Group B javelin (55.47m).

Pole vault: Pål Haugen Lillefosse soared 5.75 meters, the same as the top six in Group A, and was placed fifth in Group A. In Group B, Sondre Guttormsen, also vaulted 5.75 meters and was also fifth. In the final, Lillefosse was 9th (5.80m), Guttormssen 10th (5.70m).

Men’s shot put: Marcus Thomsen (20.27m), finished 5th in Group A qualifying.

Women’s 5,000m: Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal was 4th in her heat, 8th in final (14:57.62).

Men’s 3,000m steeplechase: Tom Erling Kårbø was 8th in his heat with a personal best 8:26.12.

Photos: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB

This article originally appeared in the September 2, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Michael Kleiner

Michael Kleiner, business and sports editor, has more than three decades of experience as an award-winning journalist and public relations professional. He has operated his own PR and web design business for small businesses, authors and community organizations in Philadelphia since 1999. Not of Norwegian descent, he lived in Norway for a year with his family at age 11 and has returned as an adult. He is the author of a memoir, Beyond the Cold: An American’s Warm Portrait of Norway, and a member of NorCham Philadelphia. Visit Kleinerprweb.com; beyondthecold.com.