A year after announcing himself on the senior stage by becoming the youngest athlete to break four minutes for the mile, Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen took his teenage career to another extraordinary level on the same Hayward Field track in Eugene on Saturday.
Now 17, Ingebrigtsen ran a remarkable 3:52.28. He was just one-tenth behind Kenya’s Elijah Manangoi, the world champion from London last summer, as his teammate Timothy Cheruiyot, won in 3:49.87 from Ethiopia’s world indoor champion in Samuel Tefera in 3:51.26.
Tefera himself is only 18 but just over a year younger, Ingebrigtsen is ripping up the record books as he showed his amazing progression over the middle distances. With his time of 3:52.28, Ingebrigtsen – who covered the last lap in 55.42 – lopped nearly one second off Graham Williamson’s 39-year-old European U20 record of 3:53.15.
And as he celebrated this latest brilliant performance, Ingebrigtsen revealed how his training set-up with his two brothers – Henrik and Filip – plays such an important part in taking him to this position.
“I usually train with two of the best 1500m runners in the world – my two brothers. I am always a couple of metres behind them but now I am taking a new step with the best guys,” said Jakob, who is also coached by his father Gjert.
“Before the race, there were a lot of nerves but I was really looking forward to it. The crowd here is amazing. I was not quite expecting the race to be that fast. I felt I had a lot to give on the last lap and felt really good coming into the home stretch. My goal was to take Alan Webb’s record,” said Jakob, who ran faster than Webb’s US high school record of 3:53.43.
But just how far he has come was shown when Manangoi was alongside him. “When I saw him, I said ‘wow’; it is a dream come true to race some of the best guys in the world.”