Royal performances in athletics by Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Amalie Iuel

Norwegian championships

Photo: Fredrik Hagen/NTB Scanpix
Jakob Ingebrigtsen (left) and Amalie Iuel (right) hold their Kongepokalen, the King’s trophy, for the best performances in the Norwegian Athletics Championships. They each won two events, Ingebrigtsen the 800m and 1,500m, Iuel, the 400m hurdles and 1,000m relay.


Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Amalie Iuel were awarded Kongepokalen, the King’s trophy, in this year’s Norwegian Athletics Championships, Ingebrigtsen for winning both the 1,500m and 800m, and Iuel for winning the 400m hurdles (55.63 seconds) and 1,000m relay. The competition was held in Bergen, Sept. 18-20.

Photo: Fredrik Hagen/NTB Scanpix
Amalie Iuel clears a hurdle on her way to winning the 400m hurdles in 55.63 seconds at the Norwegian Athletics Championships in Bergen Sept. 20.

Kongepokalen is awarded in most sports that are organized under the Norwegian Federation of Sports (NIF). Winners are decided by a jury, with awards going to the best athletes in a Norwegian championship. The King’s trophy has been a part of track and field athletics since 1902. Previous winners include Karsten Warholm, who won five consecutive trophies from 2015 to 2019, Andreas Thorkildsen, and Grete Waitz, who set the record with seven trophies.

The fact that Warholm, who is No. 3 in International Amateur Athletic Federation’s official ranking, did not win his sixth consecutive trophy says a lot about the current state of Norwegian athletics. Over the course of the 2020 season, three Norwegian runners have been battling in the absolute top of international athletics: Warholm, Ingebrigtsen, and 800m-runner Hedda Hynne.

Warholm has been averaging 47.13 in the 400m hurdles and has been closer than ever to breaking Kevin Young’s “superhuman” world record (46:78) set at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

Ingebrigtsen has set two European records and earned a place on the top 10 list in 1,500m, 2,000m and 3,000m at the age of 20. He is closing in on the world record in his first year as a senior. He ran 1:48.72 in the 800m and 3:33.93 in the 1,500m at Bergen. His best time in the 800m this year is 1:46.44 at Oslo’s Bislett Stadium, June 30, and 3:28.68 in Monaco Aug. 14.

Hynne, at 30, has lowered her personal best by almost two seconds in the course of the summer. She recorded 2:01.08 in her heat of the 800m in Bergen and won the final in 2:03.64. On Sept. 15 in Switzerland, Hynne set the Norwegian record in 1:58.10, also the world leading 800m time this year. She is regularly on the podium.

For the first time ever, a para-athletics event was included in the Norwegian championship, the 100m dash. Ida-Louise Øverland and Vegard Sverd became the first ever Norwegian champions in para-athletics. 

Øverland won the women’s race with the time 13.46 (1,087 points), Ann Selda Deliler came in second (18.58, 851 points), and Anisa Abdulle came in third (20.21, 803 points). Sverd snatched the men’s title, clocking in on impressive 11.33 (1,141 points), trailed by Sander Johansen (13.30, 886 points) and Nikkolaj Gulbrandsen (13.94, 855 points).

The championship was held at Bergen’s Fana Stadium and hosted by Fana IL, Gneist, and IL Bjarg. Originally, the competitions were supposed to be held June 19-21, but they had to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other athletes also delivered solid performances in Bergen. Six athletes, including Ingebrigtsen and Iuel, won more than one medal. The 17-year-old Henriette Jæger won two gold medals (200m and 400m) and a bronze medal (long jump), the winningest athlete in the championship. Mia Guldteig Lien won both the high jump and the long jump competition, Elisabeth Thon Rosvold won shot-put and discus, while Henrik Flåtnes won the men’s long jump and triple jump competition.

The future of Norwegian athletics seems to be in good hands.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 9, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Jo Christian Weldingh

Jo Christian Weldingh grew up in Lillehammer, Norway, and lives in Oslo. He has a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Oslo and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BI Norwegian Business School.