Olympic champion has his eyes on Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26.00 at a Bislett Games on Thursday that is packed with quality line-ups
It has been rumoured for some time that Jakob Ingebrigtsen will attack Hicham El Guerrouj’s long-standing world 1500m record on home soil at the Bislett Games in Oslo on Thursday (June 15). After smashing Daniel Komen’s world best for two miles a few days ago, the Norwegian looks in supreme record-breaking form, too.
Ingebrigtsen, 22, has a best of 3:28.32, which was set when winning Olympic gold in Tokyo two years ago. His target of 3:26.00 has survived for the past quarter of a century. But after taking four seconds off Komen’s similarly longstanding two miles mark in Paris with 7:54.10, Ingebrigtsen looks poised to challenge the Moroccan’s record.
El Guerrouj set the record in Rome in July 1998. The pacemakers led through the first and second laps in 53.6 and 1:50.7 (with El Guerrouj timed at 54.3 and 1:50.7). Noah Ngeny led through 1000m in 2:18.5 (El Guerrouj 2:18.8) before El Guerrouj took over, passing 1200m in 2:46.4 and covering his final lap in 53.5 and last 300m in 39.66 to create history.
The following year El Guerrouj set a mile record of 3:43.13 at the same Italian venue which has also lasted until today. No doubt Ingebrigtsen already has his eyes on that mark too.
Firstly, however, Ingebrigtsen has a race to win and a superb field has been assembled. Ironically Ingebrigtsen is “only” No.8 on the world all-time rankings and one of the athletes ahead of him is in the Oslo race.
Timothy Cheruiyot has a best of 3:28.28 and won the world title in 2019. Also in the field is fellow Kenyan Abel Kipsang, who has a PB of 3:29.56.
Yared Nuguse of the United States has a best of just 3:33.02 but the American has been in superb form in 2023 and finished runner-up to Ingebrigtsen on his Diamond League debut in Rabat recently.
Olli Hoare was third in the Rabat race and has a best of 3:30.12. The Australian was an impressive winner of last summer’s Commonwealth Games final too.
Neil Gourley and Josh Kerr provide considerable British interest. Gourley was a close runner-up to Ingebrigtsen in the 1500m at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March and opened his season with a 5000m PB of 13:11.44, whereas Kerr won Olympic bronze in 2021 and has a recent 800m victory from the Portland Track Classic under his belt.
Then there is the Spanish duo of Mo Katir and Mario Garcia. Katir has run 3:28.76, won world bronze last year in Eugene and took a brilliant 5000m win in Florence recently in 12:52.09, while Garcia has run 3:30.20 and was fourth in the World Champs last year.
As for wild cards, look out for Narve Gilje Nordås, who is coached by Gjert Ingebrigtsen and has seen his PB tumble down in recent seasons to 3:32.39.
The great tradition in Oslo of the Dream Mile continues with a women’s race over the distance. The field features Ciara Mageean, Winnie Nanyondo, Josette Andrews, Gabby DeBues-Stafford, Nikki Hiltz and Katie Snowden among others.
Dina Asher-Smith, Daryll Neita and Imani Lansiquot clash over 100m in what will be a prelude to the UK Championships next month. After Lansiquot improved to 11.03 earlier this season, it means they are the three fastest British females in history over the distance, although they won’t have the race to themselves as the field includes, among others, world 200m champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.
In his first race since winning European indoor 400m gold in March, Karsten Warholm returns to action in the 400m hurdles. The Norwegian will be competing in front of his home crowd and his opposition includes CJ Allen, Khallifah Rosser and Trevor Bassitt of the United States, plus Wilfried Happy of France.
Femke Bol is another big-name athlete in Oslo and, like Warholm, she tackles her specialist event of 400m hurdles.
In the men’s flat 400m a strong field is led by world record-holder Wayde van Niekerk, plus Britain’s Matt Hudson-Smith and the man who beat Hudson-Smith to Commonwealth gold last year, Muzala Samukonga of Zambia.
READ MORE: Karsten Warholm interview
Elsewhere Erriyon Knighton leads the men’s 200m line-up and Margaret Kipkemboi of Kenya heads a women’s 3000m field that has British interest with Jess Warner-Judd.
Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece features in the men’s long jump, Valarie Allman of the United States is in the women’s discus and Maggie Ewen and Chase Ealey of the United States are in the women’s shot put.
After opening her season at a low-key Spanish clubs competition in Madrid, Yulimar Rojas, the Olympic and world champion, also returns to Diamond League action in the triple jump.
For UK viewers the meeting is on BBC3 from 7-9pm and you can see the full entry lists here.
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